I'm 11 weeks pregnant, and I take a high-impact aerobics class three times a week. I've been feeling more winded and thirsty by the end of class, but I'm still able to finish. I also go to a weight training class twice a week. Can working out and lifting weights have an adverse effect on my pregnancy?
You should expect changes like you're experiencing during pregnancy -- even early in the pregnancy. Hormonal changes that affect the heart and lungs are already in place during the first trimester. Moderate exercise is recommended for women who are already in fit condition prior to pregnancy.
Many studies have shown the benefit of exercise during pregnancy. In the absence of obstetric or medical complications, pregnant women who engage in a moderate level of physical activity can maintain cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period. However, pregnancy-related changes may interfere with the ability to engage safely in some forms of physical activities.
Most women who perform regular weight-bearing exercise prior to pregnancy note a progressive decline in performance beginning in early pregnancy.
Depending on the individual's needs and the physiologic changes associated with pregnancy, women may have to modify their specific exercise regimens. Ask your doctor about prenatal exercise classes in your area that are designed to help with stretching and breathing -- providing an added bonus at the time of labor and delivery.
The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.