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Vigorous exercise in the third trimester. Is it safe?

But we have recently reviewed the research and found that vigorous exercise is safe during pregnancy, including in the third trimester. Not only is it safe; it is also healthy.

Moderate or energetic?

The safety of moderate-intensity exercise during pregnancy is well established. Walking, swimming and using a bicycle ergometer are all activities that could be considered moderate in intensity.

When talking about vigorous exercise, it means exercising to an intensity at which you struggle to hold a conversation, but you can still manage a sentence, This may include activities such as jogging, chain-based resistance training, or interval stationary motor training.

In the general population, exercising is 70 percent to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate (where your maximum heart rate is about 220 beats per minute minus your age. Exercise with intense effects due to some normal changes in heart and blood that occur during pregnancy.

And the safety of doing vigorous exercise during pregnancy has been more controversial. For example, past studies show that during energetic Exercise, blood flow is redirected to the muscles and can take oxygen and nutrients from the growing baby. Our review included 1

5 studies of a total of 32 703 pregnant women.

What we found should be soothing for active women with a healthy pregnancy: vigorous exercise seems safe for mom and baby, up to in the third trimester.

Studies appeared to have a number of results for both mother and baby, and no one showed a significant increase in risk. There was no difference in baby birth weight when their mothers were doing vigorous exercise; and in particular, there is no difference in the number of babies born small for gestational age.

For women in the healthy weight range, vigorous exercise did not affect the amount of weight they gained during pregnancy. That is, they followed the expected trajectory of pregnancy as their pregnancy progressed.

But for overweight and obese women who may find it harder to adhere to the recommended weight gain during pregnancy, vigorous exercise seems to be diminishing. weight gain of the mother.

It was also associated with a slightly lower chance of the baby being born prematurely and a few additional gestational days.

High Intensity and High Impact Exercise

Exercise at more than 90 percent of the maximum heart rate is considered "high intensity exercise". Here you cannot even spell a sentence together.

We do not yet know whether high-intensity workouts carry any risk, so there is still a limit to what expectant mothers may want to do later in pregnancy.

Prospective mothers should also be wary of doing high-impact exercises in the third trimester, such as running, jumping, or lifting heavy weights. The results of our review suggest that these types of high impact activities are unlikely to affect the baby, but it is not yet known whether they can weaken the mother's pelvic floor muscles, which can contribute to incontinence.

If expectant mothers want to continue these activities, we recommend that you consult an exercise specialist and their physician.

Every exercise is good

Vigorous exercise is an effective strategy for improving the physical and mental health of the mother. The benefits to the heart, lungs, muscles and mood are likely to be the same, if not greater, than in moderate exercise.

The main goal of physical activity in pregnancy is to achieve health benefits in a way that is safe, enjoyable and sustainable.

Some women may hinder their mobility in the third trimester, let alone exercise vigorously. So if you happily do light exercises such as regular walks, you can feel confident in the benefits that you and your baby have.

Yoga or Pilates specific for pregnancy can also be a gentler way to improve muscle strength, heart health and mental health. These activities can help prepare your body for the upcoming challenge of birth and subsequent recovery.

If you are struggling to reach the recommended 150 minutes per week, especially in the third trimester, then find ways to increase your breathing rate in shorter bouts. For example, take the stairs, park your car a little further, or take a quick stroll in your lunch break.

Mothers generally receive the greatest benefit with the additional support, whether from an exercise professional (such as an accredited exercise physiologist), a healthcare professional, or both.

Cassia Bateman is a lecturer in Exercise Physiology at the Australian Catholic University in Brisbane. This article was originally published on theconversation.com.

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