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It’s a no-brainer that exercising is good for health, something that rings true – especially if you are pregnant. Pregnant women are recommended to indulge in low-impact activities and exercises to stay healthy. This can eventually result in easy and safe delivery.
Bowling is considered a low-impact activity as there is no running or shoving involved. Still, it does need you to lift a heavy ball, which may not be the best idea when your body is sensitive. So, the question arises, is bowling allowed for a woman who is expecting?
Is Bowling Safe When You Are Pregnant?
When exercising, the best advice for pregnant women is not to start anything you were not already doing before your pregnancy and always consult your doctor first.
If bowling has been a regular part of your lifestyle even before you got pregnant, it should be relatively safer for you to continue even after pregnancy. However, this will depend on what your doctor says about your physical condition when you want to go bowling. Be sure to get a check-up before booking a lane at the alley!
During the later months of pregnancy, your body starts preparing for childbirth. This means that it begins to release the “relaxin” hormone, which causes your body parts to relax. This does not only pertain to the body parts that will be the most active during childbirth but also other body parts, like your face or fingers.
Because of the relaxin hormone, you start dropping things more often than usual as your grip is no longer as firm as it usually used to be. Your sense of balance can also be thrown off. It can be dangerous to bowl when your body is more relaxed than you realize, especially if it is not something you have ever been in the habit of doing.
While bowling and pregnancy are not the most dangerous combo out there, it is always recommended that you visit with your doctor and get checked up first. This way, your doctor will let you know if your body will be able to handle it and the precautions you should take.
Can Bowling Be Uncomfortable During Pregnancy?
Though bowling is a low-impact activity, it does require a certain amount of balancing and lifting. As your body is going through so many changes, you will likely experience discomfort while you bowl.
Your growing stomach will cause more pressure to be laid on your back, leaving you with a backache. Trying to send a heavy bowling ball down a lane can exert even more pressure on your back, among other problems.
Bowling requires upper body strength, but during pregnancy, your ligaments and joints tend to lose strength. This can develop body strains or result in a serious injury to you or your child.
Benefits of Bowling & Low-Impact Activities During Pregnancy?
Exercise during pregnancy is crucial to reduce any complications during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. Here are some of the reasons why low-impact activities, such as bowling, are great but only under your doctor’s recommendation:
- Low-impact exercises cause less pressure on your joints as compared to high-impact activities.
- Keeping up a low-impact exercise routine during your pregnancy will lower the risk of conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Low-impact exercises improve your stamina and your heart rate.
- They help lower your risk of getting into depression as it boosts your mood.
- They improve the rate of recovery after delivery.
- They improve your overall mental health, making it less likely to develop postpartum depression.
Tips for Safe Bowling While Pregnancy
If your doctor has agreed that bowling will be safe for you, you should still take a few precautions to ensure that you are doing it safely. Here are some tips that you will find helpful before you head out to have fun with your friends:
1. Watch Where You Walk
Oils are used to make the lanes smooth so that the bowling balls travel down more smoothly. To avoid slipping, you should always watch your step, being careful not to cross the line into the lane.
2. Choose a Light Ball
You may have a preferred weight when it comes to your bowling ball, but for the sake of your child, always pick the lightest ball available to you. Pregnant women should always avoid carrying anything heavy.
3. Listen to Your Body
If a particular motion doesn’t feel right and causes you discomfort, pause immediately. Either switch your technique or just quit.
4. Opt for Duckpins
Duckpin Bowling is played on the same tenpin lane as a standard bowling match, except that it uses pins and balls much smaller in size. This will result in a lot lesser strain on your body.
5. Use Your Knees
You can try bending your knees instead of bending at the waist while bowling. This will prevent any unnecessary strain on your back and will help you improve your posture.
6. Move Slowly
As your balance will be off because of the shift in your center of gravity, you should always move slowly to avoid falling.
7. Go for a Check-up
Make sure to set an appointment with your doctor before your bowling match. This way, your doctor can let you know if you are in good enough shape to play or if you should sit the game out.
Whether you have always exercised as a part of your lifestyle or you have been advised to start so that you have a healthy and safe pregnancy, you must always consult your doctor first before any activity. This includes bowling! Together, you can develop a list of guidelines that you need to follow to remain safe and avoid unnecessary complications. Your doctor will help you determine the guidelines based on your physical condition and your current gestation stage.
“How safe is bowling during pregnancy?” could still be a nagging question for you. If so, here are a couple of the most frequently asked questions about bowling during pregnancy to help put your mind more at ease:
1. Can Bowling Cause Miscarriage?
As long as you are careful and vigilant when you go bowling, there is no reason for you to believe that it will cause a miscarriage. Some of the significant concerns with bowling during pregnancy involve tripping, falling, and lifting a heavy ball. Suppose you fall or lift a heavy ball, the probability of miscarriage increases. This is why you must never take the guidelines put forth by your doctor lightly. Make sure to stop playing if you feel pressure on your back or if you start feeling tired.
2. Is It Safe to Go Bowling During the First Trimester?
It is safe for you to go bowling in your first trimester as long as you pay attention to how your body is feeling. If you feel tired, stop playing immediately and sit down. Always make sure to avoid the heavy balls and only pick those that are lighter.