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Exercise and physical activity during 2nd trimester

physical activity during 2nd trimester

Physical activity during pregnancy has been prevalent since ancient times. Exercise and physical activity during 2nd trimester of pregnancy plays an important role not only in reducing pregnancy complications and related disorders but also in maintaining the overall health of both you and your baby. For example, aerobic exercises can improve your physical fitness and posture. Being physically inactive can give rise to multiple complications and risk factors. However, it is always advised to follow precautions during any physical activity since 2nd trimester is a very crucial period of pregnancy.

Why is it beneficial to exercise during 2nd trimester?

Adequate physical activity helps in;

  • improving insulin resistance in skeletal muscles and adipose tissue
  • reducing blood glucose levels in the blood
  • reducing hypertension
  • improving vascular endothelium function
  • promoting placental growth
  • reducing oxidative stress
  • controlling excessive gestational weight gain
  • Reducing backaches, constipation, and bloating.

How does exercise affect your body?

Apart from the above benefits, physical activity can also promote psychological benefits. A good exercise routine can reduce your fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also improve your health as well as your baby’s well-being. Studies show that women continuing physical exercises during pregnancy are healthier and can continue postpartum physical activities.

Regular exercise during pregnancy also provides a higher incidence of Vaginal delivery with lower chances of Caesarean birth.

How does exercise affect your baby?

Various public health studies show that women who had an adequate physical exercise in their daily routine since the 2nd trimester gave birth to babies with relatively lower body fat. Exercise can have various effects on your baby:

  • Earlier and better able to physically coordinate
  • Better fetal heart health and adaptation to the environment
  • Better cognitive development
  • Improved umbilical blood flow and placental circulation

What kinds of exercises are proven to be helpful?

Though physical inactivity can induce various health complications, excessive physical activity during pregnancy may cause miscarriage, premature delivery, and reduced fetal growth. Yoga, mild stretching, stationary cycling, hydrotherapy, aerobic exercises, and brisk walking can be very helpful during 2nd trimester of your pregnancy.

Being cautious while exercising

Health professionals prescribe/recommend physical activity to a pregnant woman only after evaluating her, based on certain guidelines. You have to be extra cautious while doing any sort of exercise and should consider all necessary precautions. You should seek medical advice as soon as you feel that you are striving for help in order to achieve the recommended physical activity. Certain activities to avoid during your pregnancy are:

  • Any kind of movement that might lead to falls, trauma, or collisions
  • Activities performed lying on oneโ€™s back
  • Any activity that requires vigorous intensity
  • Motionless standing

When should you visit a specialist?

However, there are several signs and symptoms as to when you should stop exercising and consult a specialist. Some of those symptoms are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Reduced fetal movement
  • Bleeding or leakage of amniotic fluid
  • Headache, fatigue, and weakness
  • Uterine contractions

An insight from mamahood

To exercise or not to exercise is a dilemma in most mothers’ minds. Although it is important to be cautious during exercise, avoid exercising vigorously and which may involve collision or fall. Please seek professional help if you notice severe symptoms.

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