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Bowling While Pregnant

By Natalie Stein

The crash of the bowling ball striking the pins is a stress-releasing and cheerful sound. Despite the warnings of well-meaning friends and family, you don't have to give up bowling when you're pregnant. Doctors encourage low-impact exercise during pregnancy to help you stay healthy. As long as you're careful and have your doctor’s approval, bowling can be included in your exercise program. Communicate with your doctor throughout your pregnancy so that your physical activity stays at a safe level for you and your baby.

Recommendations for Exercise

Regular physical activity lowers your risk for chronic diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Healthy adults should get at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise or 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health benefits are greater when you exercise more. Bowling while pregnant can increase your heart rate so that you get the benefits of aerobic exercise.

Exercising during Pregnancy

Physical activity during pregnancy lowers your risk for high blood pressure, gestational diabetes or poorly controlled blood-sugar levels. Low-impact exercises, such as walking, swimming and bowling, place less stress on your joints and are safer than high-impact activities, such as running. Bowling with friends is a social activity that can improve your mood during pregnancy and may reduce your risk for postpartum depression.

Weight Control

Women of average weight should gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy, and overweight and obese women should gain 11 to 25 pounds. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy, resulting from eating too many calories compared to the number of calories you burn, makes postpartum weight loss more difficult. Bowling helps with weight control because it burns 3 to 3.8 calories per kilogram of body weight per hour, according to the Compendium of Physical Activities. A 70-kilogram, or 154-pound, woman burns 210 to 296 calories per hour while bowling.

Considerations

According to BabyCenter, most women are able to bowl during early pregnancy without risking serious injuries. Many women use bowling balls that weigh 10 to 14 pounds, and you may need to lift your bowling ball more carefully during the third trimester. To avoid hurting your back during the third trimester, bend your knees and keep your back straight while lifting your bowling ball. Lane oil is common for reducing friction in bowling. Pregnant women should be especially careful to avoid slipping on oiled lanes and wrenching their backs. To stay safe while bowling during pregnancy, listen to your body while getting advice from your doctor.

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