Safe Decision for Pregnancy Exercises
It is appropriate and safe for a pregnant woman to exercise, every possible effort must be undertaken to ensure that her exercise regimen adheres to medically sound guidelines. At a minimum, a comprehensive exercise program includes two major developmental focuses — muscular fitness and aerobic fitness.
Decisions concerning the type, intensity, duration and frequency of aerobic exercise should be individualized according to each pregnant woman’s particular needs. Accordingly, the most appropriate aerobic exercise prescription is one that considers a woman’s current fitness level, the stage of her pregnancy, and her personal interests. As a starting point, the ACOG has published guidelines (refer to Table 30–1) for aerobic exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
Factors affect Pregnancy Exercises
All factors considered some exercise appears to be more suitable than others for a pregnant woman. As a general rule, the most appropriate aerobic activities are those which offer little or weak orthopedic trauma to their musculoskeletal systems, such as swimming, cycling, walking and independent step action mechanical stair-climbing. Women who involved in running programs before the advent of their current pregnancies can usually continue their running efforts. But make sure they reduce the intensity at which they run (i.e., by decreasing their running speed, by running only on level terrain and by incorporating periodic walk-run breaks into their workouts).
Purpose of Pregnancy Exercises
Since the primary purpose of exercising during pregnancy is to allow a woman to maintain her level of fitness and to be better able to handle the stresses involved in labor and delivery — as opposed to improving her fitness level or her athletic performance abilities — the intensity, frequency and duration of an exercise regimen for a pregnant woman is usually somewhat reduced. For example, the recommended exercise intensity level for a pregnant woman is 50% of maximal oxygen uptake, as opposed to at least 60% for her non-pregnant counterpart.
Recommendations for Pregnancy Exercises
Mild to moderate exercise routine
Avoid supine position
Maintain oxygen level
Consider morphologic changes
Addition of 300 kcal/d is required