Sport promises most pregnant women easier pregnancies, an uncomplicated birth and more mobility. But do sporty women really have it easier and do they always go through easier births? In this article you will learn how to stay fit and healthy during pregnancy. In addition, we tell you which sport is now best suited for pregnant women.
In the past, it was said that sport and pregnancy do not mix well. Most people were afraid of a miscarriage or other damage to the child, especially in the first weeks of pregnancy. At that time, jogging or working out was out of the question. Fitness played almost no role at all. Today, things are different. Many women do not want to give up their sports even during pregnancy and sometimes train until the birth.
Two factions with different attitudes
The pregnancy and postpartum trainer Iris Lehner observes two factions in her everyday work that could not be more different: while one does not want to minimize or even interrupt her training under any circumstances, the other is afraid of harming her baby and then abstains prefer to be completely on the move. Expectant mothers often ask themselves the question: which faction is right? The worried ones or those posting photos from the gym under the hashtag #fitpregnancy until the end of pregnancy? And which sports can I do to avoid harming the unborn child?
The benefits of exercising during pregnancy
Basically, active women benefit from sporting activities and exercise during pregnancy. Sport can reduce the typical symptoms of pregnancy, reduce back pain and constipation and also supply the body with sufficient oxygen. In addition, exercise during pregnancy strengthens the immune system and prevents water from being stored in the tissue. Women who exercise during pregnancy sleep better and are generally fitter for childbirth. Anyone who trains not only experiences positive effects in terms of mental well-being, but also in terms of physical well-being.
However, many still fear harming their child during training. Which training is particularly suitable for pregnant women and what do women have to pay attention to if they don’t want to lose their fitness?
Overwhelmed as a single parent
Risks: Sport is not just sport
There is a major difference between gentle sports and competitive sports. So if you want to stay fit and healthy despite pregnancy, you can fall back on the former. Simple walks in the fresh air or simple exercises without an increased risk of injury are often enough to give the body the movement it needs.
“Exercise during pregnancy has many advantages and is recommended, but some adjustments are necessary,” says pregnancy trainer Iris Lehner. She advises a middle ground. It is important to find the right type of sport for every pregnant woman that is also fun and good for a baby bump.
It is important not to overdo it: Young mothers should listen to their own bodies, especially in the first trimester, and not train too hard in the first few weeks of pregnancy. The following applies to everyone: Pregnancy is definitely not the time for intensive sport and top performance. Advanced users, who are sure of their abilities and achievements and can assess and withdraw themselves, can also pursue more difficult physical activities.
It should also be noted here that a smooth pregnancy is always assumed. Should complications arise, the doctor still decides what the sports program – if there is one – should look like.
Healthy lifestyle: Exercise and nutrition are important
So, is exercise recommended during pregnancy ? Yes. Because the physical and psychological well-being of heavily pregnant women is related to the subjectively experienced fitness. Despite increased caution, pregnant women should remain physically active and, above all, feel good about themselves. The competent and appropriate perception of stress by the pregnant woman herself plays a particularly important role in her well-being.
If you do sports, you should pay even more attention to your diet and lifestyle. This is especially true during pregnancy: make sure you eat a healthy and balanced diet. Eat enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Get enough sleep. Adapt your rhythm of life to your physical well-being. Extreme physical exertion, extensive sunbathing or other heat exposure should now be avoided as a mother. Wear shoes with low or mid-heeled heels. This gives you better posture and less back pain or leg cramps.
Various courses and a wide range
Spoiled for choice. Do you want to find the right sport for your pregnancy? Choose from the many different offers such as yoga for pregnant women, pregnancy gymnastics or water gymnastics. However, you may feel just as comfortable with regular walks in nature. How about Pilates, swimming, cycling or even yoga? Cycling in particular can prevent gestational diabetes and at the same time trains endurance and the cardiovascular system.
The best sports are those in which the sporty pregnant woman can combine a moderate workout. Bungee jumping or inline skating, for example, are not suitable because these are sports that have a high risk of falling.
Which training is suitable for pregnant women?
The pregnancy trainer Iris Lehner makes a fundamental distinction between high-impact sports and low-impact sports. “High impact is movements in which both legs are off the ground at the same time, such as jogging or jumping.”
Alternatives here would be Nordic walking, a walk or swimming. Swimming is one of the most popular sports because it doesn’t put too much strain on the joints. How often you train during the week is up to you. If you are not sure, consult your doctor.
Strength training with heavy weights in particular should be avoided during pregnancy. Sit-ups and similar exercises that tense the abdomen too much could lead to what is known as coning. The straight abdominal muscles are pushed outwards. This creates massive intra-abdominal pressure and can harm your unborn baby.
Conclusion: should you exercise while pregnant?
Ultimately, you should always discuss the topic of sport with your doctor. Of course, sporting activities such as simple yoga exercises also have a positive effect on the psyche and general mental health. Those who exercise regularly are more relaxed during pregnancy and childbirth. The decisive factor here is the intensity of the training and a generally relaxed everyday life in order to avoid premature labor or early pregnancy. Light sport, on the other hand, will hardly harm the child in the womb and can also make the birth a lot easier, since sporty mothers usually experience easier births. However, what is normal for you and what you feel comfortable with, you will only find out over time. It is important not to overexert yourself in the first few weeks.