There are several benefits to exercising while pregnant, yet there are also things you need to watch out for. Before starting a pregnancy exercise program, talk to your doctor to determine the best exercise program for you.
There are several benefits of exercising during pregnancy, such as:
- It could make you feel better. Carrying a baby can certainly put a strain on your energy level and exercising can help with fatigue by giving your body a boost.
- Your sleep may be improved. Exercise can relieve much of the stress and anxiety brought on by pregnancy.
- It can help prepare you for labor. Increased endurance can shorten delivery time and with added muscle strength, can ease the pain of labor.
- Relief of aches and pains. Your lower back can take a hit during pregnancy. Exercising can help relieve lower back and other body aches by strengthening the muscles.
- You could gain less weight. If you maintain a healthy fitness level, you may not gain as much weight during pregnancy and it may help you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight more quickly. Don't try to lose weight during pregnancy.
Are you concerned about exercising during pregnancy? Here are a few questions you may have.
- Is it safe? Following a light routine should be safe. If you have medical problems or pregnancy complications, this can affect your workouts. Your doctor will be able to tell you what type of workouts are best for you.
- How do I get started? Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program. Dress in comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and bring water along to avoid dehydration and overheating. If you exercised pre-pregnancy, then follow the same routine, with a few limitations. Don't push yourself too hard. If you did not exercise previously, start with a light routine, then gradually increase the intensity levels. Monitor your heart rate and keep in tune with your body's signals. If you can, get a personal trainer with experience in pregnancy exercise to help you develop a routine and schedule.
- What kinds of exercises can I do? While pregnant, avoid contact sports and high-impact exercises like downhill skiing and horseback riding. Do a mild blend of strength training and cardio work outs such as low-impact aerobics, hiking, biking and light weight training. Swimming is very popular for moms-to-be as it doesn't make your body endure extra weight.
Workout warning signs
If you encounter these warning signs while exercising, stop your activity and evaluate the situation.
- Severe abdominal pain. You could be having contractions. Stop what you are doing and relax. If the pain does not subside, call your doctor.
- Vaginal bleeding. Light spotting throughout pregnancy is common, however, if you begin heavy bleeding in the first trimester it could be a sign of a miscarriage and if you are in your second or third trimesters it could be premature labor. In this instance seek immediate medical attention.
- Leaking fluid. This could be premature membrane rupture, also known as water breaking. In this instance seek immediate medical attention.
- Dizziness. You could be anemic, which means you need more iron in your diet. Another possible reason for dizziness is that, if you are in your late second to third trimester, as you gain weight your center of gravity changes, which may cause you to loose your balance.
- Shortness of breath. As your baby grows, so does the pressure she puts on your lungs. Take it easy if you are experiencing this during exercise.
- High blood pressure. This is a sign of preeclampsia, which if ignored, can lead to serious, even fatal conditions for both mother and baby. Preeclampsia restricts the flow of blood to the placenta, which is extremely dangerous for your baby.
- Blurred vision. You may be getting dehydrated or this can also be a sign of preeclampsia.
- Swollen hands/feet . May be a sign of preeclampsia.
Following these tips should help you to have quality, yet safe work-outs during your 9 months!