Can You Exercise While Pregnant?

Exercising while being pregnant is an aspect that more and more women wonder about with skepticism. When having a baby, the maternal instinct activates right away, so anything that could harm the wellbeing of the little one is out of the question. But, the truth is, exercising is nothing dangerous if you make sure about a few things.

Whether you’re a beginner with physical exercising, or you used to train before getting pregnant, follow the steps below, and you can still have the benefits of working out without putting your baby in danger.

Talk to your doctor

No matter your level of fitness, talking to your OB is a mandatory step. While exercising when being pregnant is totally safe, there are always some exceptions to the rule. Heart and lung diseases, cervical insufficiency, having twins or triplets, ruptured membranes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure are all specific cases that forbid you from exercising.

Therefore, under no circumstances should you start doing it without checking with your doctor first.Tell him/her what your plans are and you will receive the right advice. Usually, if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, you will probably receive the go ahead, but note that if you feel dizzy, have headaches, chest pains, muscle weaknesses or bleeding you should definitely interrupt this exercising and return to your doctor.

Be aware of the calories

You know the rule: when being pregnant, you’re eating for two, and that’s why it’s important to be aware of the calories you burn while exercising. If before the goal was to burn as many as possible, now you will have to supplement the calories you lose to make sure the baby receives enough protein.

For those whose Body Mass Index is between normal levels, the average number of extra calories that have to be absorbed is 300, but when you exercise, this number will grow. However, your doctor should always monitor your weight during your pregnancy so he/she will know exactly how many calories you need to add, especially if you are under- or over-weight.

Stay away from dangerous sports

Generally, sports like horseback riding, biking, scuba diving or anything that can make you fall are out of the discussion, but this is obvious. What you may not like hearing is that running is also considered a dangerous sport even if you do it slowly.

Know that when you are pregnant, your joints and ligaments become loose because of the hormones that relax your pelvis in preparation for giving birth, which makes you prone to falling and injuries. Thus, the slightest wrong move during a light jogging session can put you in danger.

Instead, you can consider activities like walking, effortless aerobic classes, swimming or yoga for pregnant women. These are exercises that will improve your cardiovascular function, keeping you flexible and strong without putting pressure on your bones, joints or ligaments.

Dress loosely

Avoid putting extra pressure on your body by wearing comfortable clothes. Choose to dress in a loose style and with multiple layers so it’s easy to take one off when getting too warm. Take into consideration wearing a maternity bra and special shoes that offer you support and safety while exercising.

Stay hydrated

Always drink plenty of water and bypass any dehydration episodes as high temperatures can put you and your baby in danger due to unexpected contractions. Professionals advise you to drink one cup of water before and after exercising and another cup every 20 minutes during the workout.

Pay attention to your positions and motions

While being pregnant, blood circulation is very critical, and any deficiency can harm you and your baby. If you’re into yoga, remember to move constantly as freezing in a position for too long can affect the blood flow reaching the uterus, making you feel dizzy and prone to falling. Switch between positions more often than usual and if you’re standing on your feet, move your legs continuously.

Moreover, you should also avoid lying on your back too much as you will put pressure on the large vein that travels through our bodies that carries blood from the upper and lower part of the body to the heart. Any pressure on this vein can reduce the right amount of blood it needs to reach your brain and uterus, causing dizziness, difficulties in breathing or nausea.

Finally, when you get up from the floor, do it slowly. If you get up too fast, you risk experiencing a vertigo episode that will give you problems in keeping your balance. When you’re pregnant, the center of your gravity shifts so you have to be really careful with any sudden moves.

Stay cool and don’t get overheated

Feeling warm is a characteristic symptom while you’re pregnant; thus, when you will begin exercising you’ll get even warmer. That’s totally fine – the problem is when you start feeling uncomfortably warm, which is probably a sign of overheating.

Overheating is not a good thing, especially in the first trimester when baby’s organs are developing. If you start feeling sweaty, dizzy, and cannot breathe, stop exercising and take off a layer of clothes. Try to cool down by searching for spaces with fresh air or take a shower. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and drink lots of water.

Even if you don’t experience an overheating episode, when you finish exercising, always end with a cooling off session because it will help in re-establishing a normal heart rate.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve found out that exercising while being pregnant is not harmful, the only thing left for you is to make it a habit. Interrupted periods of activity are not recommended, so think twice before starting to exercise.Moreover, any abnormal feelings during the workout should make you stop immediately, yet if you engage in light training nothing wrong should happen. Remember to stay permanently hydrated, cool down after each training session and call your doctor for any questions you may have.

If you’re looking for exercises after giving birth, the 6-week pregnancy weight loss program created by Sara Dean is an effective way to regain your body and glow. The digital package contains eight workout DVDs, a nutritional plan and a daily journal, all for a magnificent price.

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