Serious about working out but worried about your baby bump? Exercise! Challenging as it may seem it’s good for both you and the baby. Believe it or not this will also take the edge off the discomforting aches and pains that accompany pregnancy.
You see, done right exercising can help you develop a stronger core, strengthen your abs, limit the potential back aches and for some even reduce labor pains. Just remember that not all exercises are appropriate for pregnant women. And there are restrictions to pay attention to both for your safety and the safety of the baby you are carrying. Here’s a quick overview of some of the Do’s and Don’t of exercising when pregnant.
The first and perhaps most important step you need to do before commencing/continuing any exercise program is get your doctor’s approval.
Following an exercise program before pregnancy? Stick with it. If not wait until the 2nd trimester to start. You can safely do a lot of walking exercises but should limit intense workouts to no more than three sessions a week.
Doing a lot of aerobics and strength training is a good idea. Since posture changes normally happen during pregnancy such exercises will help you adjust. After your 2nd trimester you will find swimming and other weightless exercises more comfortable.
Still, like I said, walking briskly is an excellent way to achieve toned muscles.
Even though exercising is good for you, you want to stay within 60-65% of your maximum heart rate.
Take regular breaks. Overheating can be harmful to your baby.
Warm up 5 minutes before doing anything approaching an intense workout. Slow walking is a good example of something you can do to warm up.
Anything that includes a risk of falling like biking, in line skating or skiing should probably be avoided after some point. As well as doing exercises that require you lay on your back during the first trimester as that can restrict blood and oxygen flow to the baby.
Pay attention to what your body is telling you. For example if you experience any kind of dizziness, chest pain, or bleeding stop. You want to discuss such things with your doctor. Obviously common sense should kick in here. Still some might believe they can take the pain and keep going. But in this case it might not be a good idea.
How safe is it to exercise while pregnant? It all comes down to how active you were before you become pregnant. Just keep in mind, it’s important to get medical clearance before starting any exercise program so you and your physician can establish a safe exercise level.