Women who are taking into consideration pregnancy over 35 often think about how their bodies will adjust during the 9 months they will carry their child. Once you’ve done all the calculating in your pregnancy calendar and have had your pregnancy confirmed by your obstetrician or other medical professional, it’s time to start thinking about how your current trips to the gym or at-home exercise routine may change.
Exercise should be an important part of your daily routine and can be extremely beneficial for not only you, the ‘more mature’ mother, but for your baby as well. Besides the obvious benefits of having a healthy body with more energy, being in shape physically can help you to deal with the demands that having a baby can put on your body during pregnancy and in having the energy to care for your child.
Not only can pregnancy and exercise give you an emotional lift, but it may also help you to have a shorter recovery time and allow you to bounce back more quickly than you might if you’re not in good health. Exercising helps you to adjust to the additional weight you’ll be carrying around by the last trimester, improves circulation, helps to relieve common occurrences like backaches and helps to prevent varicose veins and constipation.
As with any physical activity concerning pregnancy, you should discuss all exercise routines and activities with your doctor. Some women may have to significantly reduce their exercise regime due to previous history of miscarriage, an incompetent cervix, multiple fetuses, or other health related concerns. Others are free to continue exercising as normal as long as there does not appear to be any complications along the way. Always be sure to notify your obstetrician if you notice spotting during your pregnancy or have significant discomfort or pain after exercising as this could indicate a potential problem.
If you are a workout fanatic 7 days a week for 3 hours a day, you may need to restrict some of the types of workouts that you do and take it a little easier especially during the last trimester. If you never work out at all except to get in and out of the car to go to work or to take your other children to their extracurricular activities, then now is a good time to take a look at what you can do to increase your overall physical health.
There are many exercise techniques that you can adopt to increase blood flow, energy, and emotional balance, in addition to improving your body’s stamina, balance and alignment as well as your overall muscle health and strength. Some of the regular activities you can do throughout your pregnancy can include yoga, Pilates, stability balls, meditation, tai chi, walking, swimming or other low-impact activities. Many women who jog or run on a regular basis prior to conception can continue that activity for most of their pregnancy as long as they are careful and closely monitor their bodies.
If you haven’t been exercising on a regular basis start gradually, keeping it at a moderate level and be sure not to overdo it. Listen to your body and when it starts to tell you to slow down or you start to feel pain, it’s time to stop and take a break. Remember to drink lots of water during and after exercising which helps to replenish the oxygen supply for both you and the baby. Pregnancy and exercise go hand in hand to provide you and your baby with the physical and emotional balance that you need.