Pregnancy Fitness on Wellness Wednesday
Alexa Sueda, mother of two and Obstetrician/Gynecologist at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii joins Tesia to talk about the importance of fitness during pregnancy.
Dr. Sueda sugested aerobic activity such as walking, swimming, or cycling may help control weight gain during pregnancy, prevent gestational diabetes, and help improve control of blood sugar levels in women who have gestational diabetes. Strengthening exercises such as yoga, Pilates, and strength training can improve posture, help with back pain, and help keep a woman's bones strong. All types of exercise can decrease fatigue, relieve stress and build more stamina needed for labor and delivery.
When asked how much should a pregnant woman exercise Sueda said, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week in women without high risk pregnancy conditions. For example, a woman could engage in 30 minutes of moderate exercise such as walking, swimming, low impact aerobics, or stationary cycling 5 days a week. Higher intensity exercises such as running or jogging may be appropriate depending on a pregnant woman's fitness level prior to pregnancy. If a woman was very active prior to pregnancy, then she should have no problem continuing these activities. If a woman with a low risk pregnancy was not at all active before pregnancy, we still recommend she use the pregnancy as an opportunity to start a healthier lifestyle, but she should focus on lower-impact activities such as walking or swimming. All pregnant women should check with their doctor prior to starting or continuing exercise.
Avoiding exercises that could cause damage to the abdomen while pregnant is a good idea, Dr. Sueda suggested to avoid exercising in high levels of heat or humidity and make sure to drink plenty of water. Avoid sports that involve lots of contact (such as basketball or soccer) or activities that might throw you off balance (such as surfing, martial arts or gymnastics). Pregnant women should also avoid scuba diving or "hot yoga."
Walking, swimming, dancing and aerobics are easy and safe exercises to do when pregnant. They provide numerous cardiovascular benefits without putting too much stress on your body. Light weight-lifting or resistance training are also helpful to maintain your strength.
If you are unable to maintain a conversation while exercising, then it may be too strenuous for you. Women who are very active and used to exercise may be able to continue higher intensity exercises such as running. The most important thing to remember is that you know your body best. You should also check with your provider to make sure there are no complications in your health or your pregnancy that would make exercise dangerous.
Dr Alexa Sueda not only had a lot of important information but also encourages to get healthy before pregnancy. She said pregnancy being such a special time and starting a year or two early by monitoring your health and eating healthy is suggested for better chances of having a healthy baby, being healthy yourself and maintaining that after birth.