The Do’s and Don’ts of Exercising While Pregnant

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When pregnant, your main focus is the health of your baby, and a healthy mommy is a necessary part of that equation. Exercising while pregnant makes some women wary; they, of course, do not want to do anything wrong to potentially put the baby, or themselves, at risk, but not having a proper fitness routine is an even greater risk.

Here’s easy list of do’s and don’ts for safely exercising while pregnant.

Do’s of exercising while pregnant

  • Stretch before and after each workout. When exercising while pregnant, be aware that your joints may be more flexible as the body produces the hormone relaxin, which loosens joints in preparation for the birth.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. “Staying adequately hydrated during pregnancy is hard enough,” says Kellee Bryan, community manager at EveryMove, and mom of two boys. “Add exercise to the equation, and it’s even harder,”
  • Avoid overheating The first trimester is when the baby’s major organs begin to form, and if your core temperature gets too high, exercising while pregnant could potentially cause problems. An important piece of advice for a summer pregnancy: Avoid working out outside on very hot, humid days.
  • Strength train consistently, but keep the weights light.
  • Continue to run if you have made a habit of it already and your doctor says it’s okay.
  • Strengthen your abdominals and pelvic floor muscles to help ease labor.
  • Listen to your body. If you need to rest when exercising while pregnant, take one. “A float in the pool is a great way to take weight off of taxed muscles and joints, and can work miracles for swollen ankles,” says Bryan.

Don’ts of exercising while pregnant

  • Exercising to the point of exhaustion The ‘talk test’ is an easy way to prevent overexertion when exercising while pregnant. If you can’t easily carry on a conversation while you exercise, you need to dial back the intensity.
  • Doing exercises that require you to lie on your back, like crunches, during the second and third trimester.
  • Starting to run if you haven’t made a habit of it before your pregnancy.
  • Ignoring the warning signs Stop exercising if you notice dizziness, headache, shortness of breath, chest pain, abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding, and contact your doctor if symptoms persist after you stop your workout.

Regularly exercising while pregnant can help you cope with the physical changes of pregnancy and build stamina for the taxing physical challenges ahead. If you haven’t been exercising regularly, use pregnancy as your motivation to begin now. Your baby, and post-baby body, will thank you.

Article courtesy of Fit Bottomed Girls.

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