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Prenatal fitness: Is it important to workout when you are pregnant?

If videos of pregnant celebrity’s working-out make you bemused, wondering if it’s safe or not? Then, here’s a comprehensive guide with the help of experts that helps you understand, how to work out during your pregnancy.

fitness Updated: Aug 29, 2017 11:03 IST
Abhinav Verma
Abhinav Verma
Hindustan Times
Pregnancy Workout,How to Workout When Pregnant,Fit Mom
It’s essential to do some form of exercise to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Lack of physical activity can lead to excessive weight gain, high blood pressure, back and body aches.(Istock)

Working out while pregnant? A few years ago, mothers-to-be would have been apprehensive about the idea. However, thanks to celebrities such as actor Soha Ali Khan, who recently posted her pictures exercising during her pregnancy, prenatal workout is increasingly becoming popular. But there is still lack of clarity regarding how safe it is. To debunk many myths around it we got in touch with gynecologists Dr Madhu Goel and Dr Shelly Singh, who explain how to go about prenatal fitness.

How does exercising help during pregnancy?

The truth of the matter is that it’s essential to do some form of exercise to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Lack of physical activity can lead to excessive weight gain, high blood pressure, back and body aches. To prevent this, you must to work out.

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You have never been to the gym — is pregnancy the ideal time to start?

In this case, hitting the gym with vengeance during your pregnancy is not recommended. However, you still require 30 to 60 minutes of walk every day. Moderately pace yourself while doing so. Light stretching is also essential. Those, who have already been exercising before the pregnancy, and if their bodies are conditioned, then they can continue with their workouts with supervision from their doctor.

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How intense can one workout?

Fitness levels differ from person to person and each body responds differently to exercises. However, there are still a few points that one needs to keep in mind while exercising. During pregnancy, the body is flooded by a hormone called relaxin, which loosens the ligaments to prepare the body for delivery. Therefore, at times, intense workout can cause joint injury. During pregnancy, you need to dial down the intensity as your pregnancy progresses.

Can one do exercises aimed at one’s abdominal muscles?

The answer to this one is no. Doing any workout lying on your back is not recommended. This is because the growing uterus can compress the vena cava. Vena cava is the blood vessel that is responsible for returning the blood from the body to the heart. Compressing it can make you dizzy.

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When to stop working out?

If you have the following then stop:

-Vaginal bleeding

-Abdominal cramping

-Light-headedness

-Excessive nausea

-Extreme headaches

First Published: Aug 29, 2017 11:03 IST