Moderate intensity exercise reduces gestational weight gain
Moderate intensity exercise during the third trimester may reduce gestational weight gain in pregnant women. The evidence suggests that this type of exercise is safe in most cases. However, further studies are needed to understand how this exercise affects gestational weight gain during the first and second trimesters and beyond.
There are still many questions to be answered. For instance, does vigorous exercise affect fetal heart rate? And does high-intensity exercise cause a lowered birth weight? Future studies should address these questions and find out if high-intensity exercise affects birth weight. However, despite this uncertainty, there is some evidence that vigorous exercise is safe for pregnant women.
Although there are no specific research studies that show the benefits of vigorous exercise during pregnancy, the benefits of moderate exercise are clear. A systematic review of 23 RCTs conducted on women who were normal weight or overweight or obese during pregnancy found that moderate exercise was associated with a lower gestational weight gain. The study included women who underwent physical exercise in the first, second and third trimesters of pregnancy. However, it was not clear whether vigorous exercise had any positive effect on maternal weight gain.
It reduces labor time
Recent research has shown that exercise during pregnancy reduces labor time. According to a study, women who exercised three or more times a week experienced shorter labor than those who did not exercise at all. Furthermore, exercise also reduced the chances of a newborn being born with a low Apgar score. This is important because head compression during delivery is linked with longer labor.
While this study hasn’t proven that exercise during the third trimester can reduce labor time, it is still a viable option. Women who participated in the exercise program had shorter labor stages and were less likely to have an epidural. This is a positive finding for women who are adjusting to a busy lifestyle while they are pregnant.
Exercise during the third trimester should be done regularly. This can reduce labor time by two to three hours. It can also prevent tearing of the pelvic floor muscles and the need for episiotomies. Exercises for the pelvic floor can be performed with a flex band or hand weights. The object of these exercises is to create a counterforce upwards into the pelvic floor.
It improves mental health
Studies have shown that exercise during the third trimester of pregnancy can benefit mental health. Tendais et al. examined women’s physical activity before and after pregnancy, and then assessed their depression using the Edinburgh scale. Women who engaged in moderate physical activity during their pregnancy were less likely to experience depression. This research supports the recommendation for physical activity during pregnancy, which is supported by ACOG and the ACSM.
Exercise in the third trimester has been shown to improve mental health in women suffering from depression. A recent study compared the effects of physical activity on depressive disorders in obese pregnant women. Those who participated in moderate physical activity experienced lower levels of somatic symptoms of major depression compared to non-participants. Nevertheless, the researchers did not find any direct correlation between exercise and depression in pregnancy.
It reduces stress
Studies have shown that aerobic exercise reduces stress in both the general population and in pregnant women. However, few studies have looked at the effects of exercise during pregnancy. In a study by Treasure and Lox (2000), 41 pregnant women participated in a prenatal aquatics exercise class that was 45 minutes long twice a week. In the study, the participants were asked to rate their feelings during exercise with a Subjective Exercise Experiences Scale.
Pregnant women should be cautious with exercise in the third trimester. Because they will have more physical and emotional demands during this time, some exercises might not be appropriate. For instance, women should avoid exercises that require them to lie flat on their backs or to perform crunches. It is also important to listen to their bodies during workouts, as intense workouts may cause exhaustion. If you notice signs of exhaustion, stop your workout.
Pregnant women should focus on strengthening their arms and core. Some exercises to build strength in these areas include bicep curls, lateral lifts, and tricep extensions. While exercise during pregnancy should not be done with massive weights, it can help build your strength and give you more energy.
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