Many women believe they are unable to exercise during pregnancy. Contrary to their belief, exercising while pregnant is a very important part of having a healthy pregnancy. Exercising during pregnancy can not only reduce risks of developing gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, but can also help build up stamina needed during the hours of labor and birth.
Research says that if you are already proficient at a certain exercise such as jogging or weight lifting, you should be able to continue without any concerns. Use discomfort and common sense as your guide and take rest breaks when needed. It is also a good idea to consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program just to make sure there are no concerns.
As with any exercise program, there are safety concerns and risks that should be addressed. It is important to keep your exercise programs regular. By exercising at least three times per week versus once a week, you are keeping your endurance up. Remember, your exercise program does not have to be long. A 10-15 minute walk after work or during lunch counts too!
It is also important to avoid exercises while lying on your back after your first trimester. If you regularly do exercises while lying on your back, try to modify those exercises in a standing or seated position. Always remember to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated during exercise. Try to avoid hot or humid environments as you are more likely to dehydrate quicker.
Just like drinking plenty of water, it is also important to make sure you are eating enough while pregnant. Most moms-to-be need an extra 300 calories a day during pregnancy. Make sure to monitor how many calories you are burning during a workout so that you do not become calorie deficient.
Do not expect to be able to run 5 miles or do an hour long aerobics class like you could pre-pregnancy! It is very important to listen to your body while exercising and not to overdo it. Remember that during pregnancy, your body is going through hormonal changes. You will start to become more flexible and therefore, more prone to injury. Your growing belly can also throw off your center of balance, making some standing workouts more difficult. Be prepared to modify your exercise program to fit those needs and avoid injury.
If you need help coming up with a proper exercise routine during pregnancy, talk with your doctor.