Tips for Staying Fit During Pregnancy

by Laura Riley

July 13, 2012 // Category: Fitness Advisor

Pregnancy is one of the most amazing experiences a woman can go through and women expect to have this beautiful glow and this adorable little belly, but let’s be honest here. Most pregnant women are tired, swollen, gassy, and just outright uncomfortable. That includes me! I am currently in my third trimester of my first pregnancy and I admit, getting motivated to exercise can be challenging. There are several days when I just want to put my feet up and eat an entire bag of Oreo cookies. But then I remember when I give birth, a baby will come out but the fat from all of the cookies is most likely going to stay on my butt and thighs. 

The ability to reduce excess weight gain is just one of the many benefits to exercising during pregnancy. Avoiding having to shed a ridiculous amount of weight post pregnancy is motivation enough to get most women moving, but staying active when pregnant has also been proven to help ease back pain, boost your energy level, increase stamina and build muscle strength to help you prepare for labor. It can also reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and postpartum depression.

Getting Started:

Before you begin a prenatal fitness program, be sure to check with your health care professional. While exercising is generally recommended, there are some instances such as a history of preterm labor, where exercising is not suggested. Once your doctor has given the green light, choose a fitness regimen that is right for your experience level. If you exercised before you were pregnant you can probably continue to do the same types of workouts with a few modifications. If you haven’t been exercising on a regular basis, begin incorporating physical activity such as walking 5 – 10 minutes a day, gradually build up to at least 30 minutes per day.

Staying Safe for You and Your Baby While Exercising:

  • Remember to stretch before and after each workout
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and be careful to avoid overheating
  • Avoid getting your heart rate too high – you should be able to carry on a conversation while exercising. If you can’t speak normally, it’s a sign you may be working out too hard.
  • Strength training is okay, but stay away from lifting heavy weights – stick to light weights with high repetition.
  • Avoid contact sports or activities that post a high risk of falling.
  • Avoid any exercises that force you to lie flat on your back.
  • Listen to your body – stop exercising if you experience abdominal pain, chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness or vaginal bleeding

I wish all other moms-to-be out there the best of luck with your pregnancy and if you need suggestions for workouts, these are a good place to start:

The Plus One Workout from Self

Pregnancy Workout Plan from The Bump

 
Laura Riley
 

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