By: Courtney Reeder, CPT
Exercising during pregnancy provides numerous benefits, such as weight management, greater energy levels, preparing the body for labor, improved mood, and decreasing the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and adverse birth outcomes. Without any contraindications, moderate exercise is safe and recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). In fact, it is recommended that pregnant women obtain 150 minutes of exercise at a moderate intensity per week at minimum.
What is moderate intensity?
Intensity is your heart rate during exercise, which can be perceived differently from person to person. To achieve a moderate intensity workout, pregnant women should aim to raise the heart rate, but not to the point of exhaustion. It is also recommended that pregnant women engage in both cardiovascular exercise and resistance training. With guidance, women can safely perform various types of exercise in all stages of pregnancy to give their baby the best start in life.
How can Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC) help?
OKCIC’s Wellness Center provides one-on-one personal training and prenatal yoga to assist patients with fitness throughout their pregnancy. OKCIC prenatal patients can always use the Wellness Center on their own, but will also receive referrals from their primary care provider to have the opportunity to schedule sessions with a personal trainer and attend specialized group fitness classes.
This is one mother’s story…
Mariah, 23 years old and a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, has been attending the Wellness Center since her first trimester. Throughout her second and third trimester, Mariah learned modifications to various exercises to accommodate her growing baby.
“Since the start of my workout with OKCIC’s wellness program, I have felt improvements in all aspects of my physical and mental health,” Mariah said. “I don’t have any health issues, such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, which I attribute all of that to staying active in the gym throughout my pregnancy.”
During her pregnancy, Mariah added a combination of cardiovascular exercises and resistance training to her weekly activities. She also attended group fitness classes, such as Zumba and Yoga, and learned how to participate in these classes at a low impact pace.
“Courtney is a great trainer and has motivated me to stay consistent with my workout schedule throughout my entire journey,” Mariah said. “I highly recommend every pregnant woman to give this program a try, it’ll help you and baby in the long run. I plan to continue to stay active with the Wellness Center postpartum to strengthen my body and mind for the future to come.”
Be sure to talk to your provider before participating in any exercise during pregnancy to be sure it is right for you. You can make an appointment with your provider by calling (405) 948-4900.