Delivering a baby can be a labor of endurance for many hours, possibly even a day or more. Just getting through the many months of pregnancy is a much broader sport of endurance. Increasing your prenatal fitness endurance gives you the physical and mental stamina to get through it all.
Start With Your Doctor
The first thing that you should do is visit your doctor. You’re hopefully already getting medical supervision for your pregnancy, but you need to make sure it’s safe for you to exercise in the first place. While exercise has many fitness and health benefits, it’s possible to injure yourself and make things worse if:
- Your body isn’t ready for exercise
- You exercise too much
- You do the wrong exercises
- You perform the right exercises in the wrong way
A good physical or appointment with your primary care physician can help you figure out where you are at physically and what options you have for increasing your prenatal fitness endurance.
Even if you were safe for exercise before pregnancy, you should know that various stages of pregnancy can mean complications that would impact your ability to work out safely. These include cervical issues, bleeding, and high blood pressure. Above all, you want to make sure that whatever physical activity you are participating in, you don’t want to injure or cause harm to your unborn baby.
Figure Out Your Goal
If your doctor gives you the go-ahead for exercise but doesn’t really tell you how much to get, then consider the prenatal exercise recommendation of Every-Mother.com. They suggest that pregnant women who exercise regularly have many health benefits that include:
- Building your strength
- Increasing your stamina
- Reducing risks of complications
- Less incontinence
- Lower risk of back pain
- Better mood
- Stress reduction
- Minimized anxiety
- Wards off depression
- Relieves constipation
- Better blood pressure
- Improved labor
- Enhanced quality of sleep
Start Out Small
Mayo Clinic suggests just 10 minutes of exercise a day to start with. Work up to 150 minutes per week by moving up to 15 minutes daily when you’re able. After that, you can move up to 20. Eventually, you’ll hit half an hour a day on average and find your stride.
Exercises to Consider
The following are effective and generally safe forms of exercise your doctor may clear you for:
- Walking: This might just be the best exercise to do considering how simple and available it is. It directly builds up strength in the pelvic area, low abdomen, and lower back. Walking also helps you learn how to support your growing weight while keeping a good sense of balance.
- Swimming: This exercise is refreshing because of how relaxing it is. The water gives you buoyancy to help relieve your added weight and mass. It can also be a full-body exercise that doesn’t overly rely on one part of your body to do all the working out.
- Cycling: This should only involve a stationary bike given how an accident can mean a high risk of danger to the baby.
- Low-Impact Aerobics: Your ability to do these safely might decline as you get further into pregnancy. However, the benefits of aerobics are as versatile as many of the exercises themselves.
Exercises and Activities to Avoid
Some forms of exercise are ones you should avoid:
- Lying Flat on Your Back: Any exercise involving this after the first trimester can be dangerous.
- Scuba Diving: This puts your baby at a high risk of decompression sickness.
- Hitting Water With Great Force: Avoid diving, surfing, and water skiing.
- High Risk of Falling: Avoid horseback riding, gymnastics, in-line skating, and downhill skiing.
- Contact Sports: Don’t participate in volleyball, basketball, soccer, or ice hockey.
Prenatal fitness makes pregnancy much easier to go through and improves the odds of delivery free of complications. After delivery, your healthy body will recover faster, and you’ll have an easier time losing excess pregnancy weight. Prenatal exercise can also help ward off symptoms of postpartum depression. Boosting your prenatal endurance can happen through regular exercise if done safely.