Are you pregnant and worried about missing your workouts? Unless you have underlying health conditions, your doctor will probably give you the green light to continue your usual workouts. You may have to modify them a bit. But overall, daily exercise during pregnancy is a win-win for Mum and baby.
This article reviews the benefits and tips for pre-natal exercises and several suggestions to keep you both healthy. Some activities are not prudent during pregnancy; we’ll check those later. Overall, exercising while pregnant provides lots of perks. Let’s take a look.
Benefits Of Daily Exercise While Pregnant
Daily exercise is great for everyone, even a plus one. Moderate exercise during pregnancy can:
- Help with back pain
- Help you sleep better
- Uplift your mood and fight depression
- Control blood pressure
- Control or prevent gestational diabetes
- Tamp down weight gain
- Reduce ankle swelling and varicose veins
- Improve balance with your changing body
- Decrease risks of caesarean birth, pre-eclampsia, and low birth weight
Pregnancy Exercise Tips
Here are some tips that apply when you are pregnant and beyond.
Hydrate & Stay Cool
You are more prone to dehydration when you’re pregnant. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, work out in a cool environment, and avoid working out in tight-fitting clothes. If you have to exercise outdoors, do so in the morning or evening when temperatures are more moderate. Wear clothing and hats that offer protection from the sun and use plenty of approved sunscreen.
Start Slow & Listen To Your Body
A good rule of thumb is you can continue almost any activity you were doing before your pregnancy. If you were strenuously working out, consult with your doctor. The two of you can discuss safe levels and activities for the duration of your pregnancy.
If you are new to an exercise regime, start slow and build upon your progress. For instance, set a goal for 150 minutes per week of exercise. Do ten minutes at a time if you need to. Nothing says you have to do an entire session at once.
If anything feels uncomfortable, stop and rest and try a different activity.
Don’t Push To Exhaustion
Your activity level should allow you to hold a conversation. If you are out of breath, you need to back it down a bit.
Warm Up, Cool Down
Your body is busy making a hormone that softens your ligaments and tendons, making them more elastic for the big day. Changes to ligaments and tendons mean your joints will not be as tight as they were pre-pregnancy. Warm-ups and cool-downs lessen injury. Resistance bands are a great tool to keep flexible and bendy without the risk of falls.
Shelve Lying On Your Back For A While
Around week 16, you should avoid lying on your back for prolonged periods. Because your growing baby can press on the main artery in your abdominal area, it can cause low blood pressure, a risk for both of you.
Great Pregnancy Exercises
Any type of walking helps. Shopping, walking to work or taking a nature trail all give the cardio benefits you need. It’s free and safe to start anytime during your pregnancy.
As long as you are an experienced runner, your doctor should allow you to continue. Now is not the time to take up the hobby if you’ve never done it.
Yoga & Pilates
Regular or speciality pregnancy classes are excellent exercise options. Both relieve stress while strengthening your spine and pelvis muscles. Remember not to lie on your back after 16 weeks. Avoid holding your breath, straining, or harsh back bends and twists. Use yoga accessories like wedges and balls to provide extra comfort and support.
Exercising in the water supports your weight, helps your balance and gives you a cardio workout. Your circulation increases and the weightlessness relieves sciatic pain some women encounter—just no backstroking after week 16.
Lifting weights is not an option for newbies. But if you use your home gym religiously every morning, go right ahead! You may need to drop some weight plates while you’re pregnant. And you won’t want to handle any weight or machine that forces you to strain or hold your breath.
Most chores are fine to do while pregnant and can be good workouts. Avoid heavy lifting, reaching or anything at a height to avoid falls.
Continue aerobic exercises on your Echelon Connect Bike or any other stationary cycle. Your baby will get used to the rhythm as you pedal your way across the virtual countryside.
Exercises To Avoid
We’ve already covered no lying on your back for long periods. Here are other activities not worth the risk to your baby.
- Scuba diving (your baby has no defence against decompression)
- Horseback riding
- Contact sports
- Regular bikes
- Anything in high altitudes
Exercise For The Team
You have an extra person to consider for the rest of your life, especially for the next nine months. Help your baby get the best head start possible by staying healthy and safe with proper exercise. Discussing exercise plans and concerns with your doctor is an excellent place to start.
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