Recommendations for physical activity for pregnant women
Properly selected and prescribed physical activity during pregnancy has a favorable effects on the health of pregnant women and the fetus, and is excellent preparation for childbirth. Absolute and relative contraindications to exercise during pregnancy are well defined, as well as the warning signs to terminate exercise while pregnant. Knowledge of these is essential for physically active pregnant women and exercise professionals that work with pregnant women. Pregnant women should be moderately physically active every day of the week for at least 30 minutes. The term moderate is thoroughly and clearly defined in the guidelines. Resistance exercises during pregnancy are safe but it is advised to use light loads and a large number of repetitions (e.g. 15-20 repetitions). Strength exercises for the pelvic floor muscles deserves a special place during pregnancy. Appropriate forms of physical activity for pregnant women are walking and jogging, swimming and aquatic exercise, cycling, Pilates and yoga, aerobics, fitness and cross-country skiing. Certain forms of physical activity need special adjustments (alpine skiing, ice skating and rollerblading, racket sports, team ball games, horseback riding and scuba diving).
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