New Delhi, July 10 : A moderate half an hour exercise during pregnancy can be beneficial for both mother and the child, suggest experts.
Experts believe that endurance exercises, such as jogging during pregnancy can improve the mother's condition, strengthen the cardiovascular system and enhance blood circulation.
"If their gynaecologist gives the green light, pregnant women should go ahead and participate in sports," China Daily quoted Christian Albring, president of the Munich-based Association of Gynaecologists (BVF), as saying.
"Jogging, hiking, Nordic walking, cycling, dancing, and swimming in water with a temperature over 20 C are all well-suited to people who don't care for sports," she added.
Even swimming can be beneficial during pregnancy.
"Water is felt to be particularly pleasant because it buoys the body and takes weight off the joints," said Marion Sulprizio, a sports psychologist at the German Sport University Cologne's Department of Health Research.
Moreover, strenuous activities are possible in water without raising the heart rate. "So in water you can really let loose," she added.
You might be advised to abandon treadmills but they can actually be helpful.
"On the treadmill, cross trainer and ergometer, the training intensity is regulated individually and the amount of strain is monitored," Sulprizio said.
This allows pregnant women to continually adjust the intensity of their exercise regimen according to their condition.
Strength training can also prove beneficial, not for the abdomen, but for arms and legs. The weights and resistances should be greatly reduced, however.
"Deep-sea diving is the only thing that's really taboo," said Edith Wolber of the Karlsruhe-based German Midwives Association. She points out that women who dive during pregnancy have a significantly higher rate of children with deformities.
"Expectant mothers are not competing. That means, among other things, that they can allow themselves to engage in sports less than they did previously, or reduce their performance level," said Wolber.
It is suitable for expectant mothers who were active before their pregnancy to exercise at least half an hour three times a week.