You have just discovered that your are expecting and this is surely the happiest moment of your life! While many mommy questions begin running through your mind you maybe left wondering, “But what about working out while pregnant, is it safe?” Well, this is not a simple answer. First and foremost you should always consult your doctor first, but much research has demonstrated that with “normal” low risk pregnancies physical activity can be quite beneficial to baby and mommy. Exercising while pregnant can boost mood, improve sleep, and reduce aches and pains. It can also prepare you for childbirth by strengthening muscles and building endurance.
Working Out While Pregnant – Simple Safety Tips
- Always Consult Your Doctor – Whether you are looking to continue your workout routine, begin a new routine, or changing a workout regimen, always check with your physician first. For healthy mommy’s to be that worked out before conceiving working out is generally safe with some modifications to keep baby safe.
- Avoid Risky Physical Activity – Avoid physical activity that may put you and your baby at risk such as activities that may affect your balance. Any contact sports should also be avoided while pregnant.
- Nutrition – Exercise burns calories and as a mommy to be you need to be sure you are fully nourishing your body for yourself and baby. This may mean increasing your caloric intake. Always consult with your doctor on nutritional needs while working out.
- Hydrate – Hydration is important for all of us, it is especially important for mom to be. Dehydration can set off a chain of events that leads to a reduced amount of blood reaching the placenta. Dehydration can also increase your risk of overheating or even trigger contractions. Drink plenty of water especially if you are physically active.
- Avoid Lying Flat on Your Back – One of the biggest changes active mommies may need to make is avoiding any exercises that involve lying flat on your back – this includes much of the floor abdominal exercises you might be used to. The weight of your uterus puts pressure on a major vein called the vena cava, which can reduce blood flow to your heart and may diminish blood flow to your brain and uterus. This can make you dizzy, short of breath, or nauseated. Opt instead for standing abdominal work or propping yourself up with a pillow.
- Keep Moving – Holding yoga poses, for example, should be avoided as this can cause blood to pool in the legs causing your blood pressure to lower and feel dizzy.
- Slow Down – Listen to your body and avoid overdoing it – slow down. Take lots of recovery time. You should aim to always be able to have a conversation while working out. Move slowly as well. Meaning, as you transition from the floor to standing take it slow.
Working Out While Pregnant – Best Exercises
Low Impact Cardio – Aim for 30 minutes daily:
- Indoor Cycling
- Running/Jogging – if you previously ran/jogged before becoming pregnant
- Low Impact Aerobics
Other Low Impact Activities:
- Strength/Weight Training – Lower weight, focus on form, and slow movements
If you are a mommy to be always consult a physician before beginning, continuing, or a changing a workout regimen after becoming pregnant. Every pregnancy is unique meaning the restrictions for physical activity will vary from person to person.