Exercise During Pregnancy
Years ago, women were often told to take it easy during pregnancy. But times have changed. In most cases, exercise is not only considered safe for pregnant women, but it’s beneficial. Keep in mind, there are certain pregnancy complications where exercise may not be advised. It’s always best to check with your doctor. But unless otherwise instructed, you can lace up your sneakers and get moving.
If you’re not a fitness buff, the benefits of exercise during pregnancy may be enough to motivate you. It’s no secret that pregnancy can cause a few aches and pains. Although it can vary, some women develop bloating, constipation, fatigue and back and pelvic pain.
While exercise is not magic, it can help decrease a lot of pregnancy discomforts. For instance, working out during pregnancy can ease back pain, boost mood and improve sleep. Women who exercise during their pregnancy may also have fewer delivery complications and more stamina for labor.
What Types of Pregnancy Workouts are Best?
When it comes to what type of pregnancy workouts you should do, it’s important to include both cardiovascular and strength exercises. Good options include brisk walking, swimming, aerobics classes and riding a stationary bike. If you are new to working out, start slow and make sure you do a good warm-up before exercising harder.
In your second and third trimester, you can likely continue most of the workouts you did during your first few months of pregnancy with a few exceptions. For example, doctors recommend women in their second and third trimester avoid doing abdominal exercises, which involve lying on their back.
When you lie on your back, the weight from your growing tummy can press on a major vein called the vena cava. This vein carries blood to your heart. Compressing the vein may decrease blood flow and leave you nauseous and dizzy.
For more on second-trimester fitness ideas, watch this YouTube video, which includes exercises, such as a deadlift, traveling pile’ and side leg raises. All three exercises are great for your lower body and help keep your booty toned. Keep in mind, your center of gravity may be a bit different as your baby bump grows. Using a chair for balance may be helpful when performing some of the exercises.
Pregnancy Workout Precautions
Although most women can continue to work out up until the big day, there are some precautions to keep in mind. For instance, exercise or activities that have a fall risk, such as outdoor biking or skiing should be avoided. Remember, you may be a bit off balance during pregnancy due to your growing belly. So it may be easier to fall.
It’s also essential to drink plenty of water before, during and after a workout. Not getting enough water during a workout can lead to dehydration, which can cause contractions.
If at any time during your workout you develop chest pain, leaking amniotic fluid or vaginal bleeding stop exercising and get medical help. Lastly, listen to your body. While pregnancy workouts can be great for both you and your baby, you don’t want to overdo it.