Being pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t stay fit, in fact, experts recommend you continue with a smart workout routine throughout your pregnancy. Being strong and flexible will also help you with an easier delivery and prep you to keep up with the little one later. Keep reading for helpful fitness tips if you are pregnant.
Talk to your doctor. Studies show that nearly 40% of pregnant women get no advice from health care professionals regarding healthy exercise during pregnancy! That means too many women risk not striving for fitness or not going about it the right way for nine months. Tell your doctor you’d like to avoid getting too far out of shape, and that you need specific guidance for your personal circumstances. Don’t pick up a routine without professional approval but don’t let this time fly by with no regard to your fitness either.
Choose pregnancy-friendly exercises. Walking briskly, swimming regularly and prenatal yoga are all very healthy for you and easy on baby. Remember that your joints become loose and your center of gravity shifts with pregnancy, so you cannot just scale-down your usual routine. Seek out a moderate program that keeps you strong and fit, in a relaxed and safe manner.
Get maternity gear. You already know comfort and flexibility are a must during workouts, but that baby-bump needs to be accommodated throughout your pregnancy. Look for workout wear that is specifically sized to your time, shape and measurements. There should be nothing constrictive, nor anything too loose. Make sure you don’t get too warm, as over-heating can pose a threat to the baby, and consider getting extra-support in your bra for workouts, to compensate for those changes as well.
Don’t forget to include some abdominal exercises. Pregnant women gain most of their weight in their stomachs, which can lead to a lot of lower back pain. A stronger core helps to combat this problem. In addition, abdominal exercises during your third trimester have been proven to benefit labor.
Avoid exercises that require you to lie on your back, especially in late pregnancy. Just as your doctor has probably advised you not to sleep on your back after the first trimester, you shouldn’t exercise on your back, either. Being in this position puts pressure on the vena cava, a major blood vessel that runs through the right side of your body. If blood flow is reduced, you may feel dizzy, sick or lightheaded.
Be aware that your center of gravity will change as your belly grows. This affects your ability to balance during certain exercises, and it may affect your posture. If exercises become too difficult during the later stages of pregnancy, or if you feel unstable, discontinue that activity in favor of something that you find easier to perform. This reduces the likelihood of falls or other accidents.
Join an organized, supervised class. Even if you are the independent, self-starter type, going it alone can be dangerous during pregnancy. Rather than working out where and when you feel like it by yourself, sign-up for a class where you will be surrounded by people. You can still get a great swim or walk in, but there will always be somebody there if you need any kind of help, advice or immediate attention. Fitness is important to your health, but a smooth pregnancy is obviously the first priority.
Pack vitamins into small and frequent snack sessions. We all know pregnancy can create all kinds of cravings, and working out may just add to that hunger, so calculate your dietary intake to accommodate both! Vitamin D from low-fat milk, folic acid in fresh oranges, iron from an all-natural oatmeal bar–everything your baby and you need in neat little snack-meals throughout the day should keep your hunger at bay and you fueled for fitness.
Get more rest than usual. Most expectant mothers need more sitting, napping and relaxing, but if you’ve got a healthy fitness routine going, you need even more time to recoup. Don’t ever keep yourself in overdrive, no matter how much you’ve got going on or how great your love of working out may be. Keeping yourself fit during this time is a very healthy decision, but it also must be a wise one; listen to your body and your baby.
Drink more water than usual. Pregnancy increases the amount of blood pumping through your veins, and you may feel hotter than you do when you aren’t pregnant. It probably takes less activity to make you sweat, too. For these reasons, you should increase the amount of non-caffeinated fluids you consume to ensure that you stay well-hydrated during and after your workouts.
Working out during pregnancy helps you feel great, and it builds strength that can help carry you through labor. With a few modifications of your favorite exercises, and your doctor’s blessing, you can enjoy a safe, active pregnancy.