By the sixth month of pregnancy, most women will be done with morning sickness but still energetic enough to get moving. For most pregnant women, exercise is not only a healthy choice but a way to deal with the stress and anxiety of your impending delivery. Consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.
Benefits of Exercise
Exercising during pregnancy is not just a way to fit into your favorite maternity clothes. According to MayoClinic.com, being active helps you stay at a healthy weight for you and your baby, and can reduce your risk for developing gestational diabetes, postpartum depression and high blood pressure. As you get close to your delivery, exercise will also help prepare you for the birth. Building stamina and staying healthy can reduce your pain during delivery. Aim to exercise for 10 to 30 minutes each day.
Low-impact exercises are the safest choices for a pregnant woman. Walking will generally be the easiest exercise to do when six months pregnant, particularly if you didn’t exercise regularly before your pregnancy. Swimming will also help you stay fit, and being suspended in the water will be a welcome change if you feel large and uncomfortable most of the time. Prenatal yoga or fitness DVDs that are made for pregnant women should also be easy enough to do comfortably.
Activities to Avoid
Avoid any exercises that could cause you to fall, such as roller skating, horseback riding or bicycling. Don’t do any activities that require you to stand in one place for long, such as weightlifting, since these can limit the blood flow reaching your baby. Avoid any exercises that require you to lie on your back such as situps because these can cause dizziness. Don’t go running or jogging unless you were a regular runner up until you became pregnant.
For some pregnant women, exercise can be dangerous. Do not begin exercising if you have heart or lung disease, severe anemia or high blood pressure. Don’t exercise if your doctor has told you you’re at risk for preterm labor, which is especially common among women carrying multiples. If you experience dizziness, shortness of breath, bleeding, pain, a decrease in your baby’s movement or any other symptom that doesn’t feel right, stop exercising and contact your doctor right away.