Several questions would come to mind when planning to exercise during pregnancy. Exercise is vital during pregnancy as it improves overall health and wellness. It’s also proven to make childbirth less painful.
However, it’s vital that you be extra cautious when working out. Even if you’re a conditioned athlete, you still need to keep some things in mind to ensure that you and your baby are healthy and safe.
Is It Safe?
In most cases, it’s safe to exercise during pregnancy. In fact, most experts recommend it. The first rule of thumb here is that if you were exercising before getting pregnant, it’s highly likely that it’s safe to remain active at this stage.
Furthermore, your doctor will advise you to stay active, provided you’re comfortable with your exercise routine. Plus, ensure that you’re not suffering from other health conditions.
Talk to your doctor
Before starting to exercise, you must check with your doctor first. If you’ve been exercising before you got pregnant, continue exercising, but you need to make a few adjustments.
In some cases, however, exercising isn’t all right. Thus, make sure that you talk to your healthcare provider about the exercise routine you want to perform. In this way, you’re not putting yourself and your baby at risk.
Your doctor could give you some pregnancy exercise tips if you didn’t work out before you got pregnant.
Avoid dangerous routine
Don’t involve in activities with a lot of contacts, such as basketball and soccer. You should also avoid physical activities that might cause you to fall. That said, surfing, gymnastics and horseback riding are a no-no.
Cycling, on the other hand, might be safe, if you’ve been doing it before and you’re comfortable on a bike. However, it’s probably best that you stick to the use of a stationary bike.
Furthermore, you must avoid scuba diving. The reason for this is that unborn babies don’t have any protection against the effects of pressure changes. It may result in them not developing normally.
Nourish your body
Because an exercise can burn a lot of calories, you must eat well to strengthen your body. Naturally, you gain weight as your baby grows. Thus, don’t be too worried about it.
The weight gain will depend on your pre-pregnancy weight. For example, if your BMI is in a healthy range, you may need to eat around 340 calories per day during the second trimester and 450 calories in the third trimester.
But if you’re underweight or overweight, you need to gain more or less. For that reason, it’s best to consult your physician to know how you can adjust your calorie intake accordingly.
Warm up first
Warming up lets your muscles and joints prepare for the exercise routine. It increases your heart rate gradually. Avoiding warm-up could cause muscle and ligaments strain. As a result, you’ll experience more aches and pains after the routine.
To warm up, you can choose a low-intensity version of your exercise and slowly increase it. It prepares your muscles as you do a more vigorous movement.
Wear the right clothing
Your workout clothing must be breathable and loose-fitting. Choose to dress in layers. In that way, you can easily peel off a layer after warming up. Then, opt for athletic shoes that fit properly.
Now, if you experience mild swelling, buy a new pair and never use your pre-pregnancy sneakers. Also, ensure that the shoes have better shock absorption.
If you need to wear accessories, make sure that they can help with your energy levels. One of the safest accessories you can wear while pregnant is a Baltic wonder amber necklace; here you can find a few models. It’s not only perfect for teething babies, but it’s also useful for pregnant mothers to relieve discomforts associated with pregnancy.
Never overdo it
It won’t help you get fit during pregnancy. Instead, you’re risking you and your baby’s health. It’s best that you listen to your body. If you can no longer converse while exercising, then it’s a sign that you’re exhausted.
Also, if something hurts, you should stop. Exercise during pregnancy should not feel like you’re punishing yourself. Instead, it should feel like a way for you to feel refreshed. If you feel drained after working out, you’re overdoing it.
After working out, make sure that you rest for the same amount of time before you get on with your day. That is, if you worked out for 10 minutes, rest for 10 minutes.
It’s also ideal that you cool down after every workout. Do some stretching for five to 10 minutes. It can help in improving your flexibility while you get your heart rate back to normal. Pregnancy-friendly stretching will prevent you from having sore muscles after working out.
When you think about exercise during pregnancy, make sure that you do it regularly. That is if your doctor recommends it. Keep up a routine that’s easier for your body.
Written by: Jenn Sanders
Jenn Sanders currently works as a marketing assistant at a company dedicated to the health and well-being of infants. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and outdoor adventures.