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While many things change during and after pregnancy, your body’s need for exercise does not. In fact, maintaining your physical fitness may be more important than ever as your body prepares for the monumental effort that comes from growing, giving birth and raising another human being. There are, however, some safety tips you should consider while working out for two!
-It’s perfectly acceptable to maintain your current routine. If you were a runner before you became pregnant, then you should be able to safely run up until the day you deliver. Listen to your body! If you feel hot, tired or if it hurts, STOP!
-You should be able to carry on a light conversation while exercising. Remember, you’re breathing for your baby. So, if you’re unable to breathe then neither can your baby.
-Heat can be a pregnant woman’s worst nightmare. If you’re planning to exercise outdoors, remember to drink plenty of water before, during and after. If possible, avoid outdoor exercise when the sun is at the highest (usually between 1pm and 4pm) during the warm season.
-Another issue to keep in mind is that your body is changing in many ways that can make certain exercises unsafe to continue during your pregnancy. For example, sit ups may not be possible for long! Abdominal exercises are, however, very important and essential for an expanding belly! To strengthen your abdominal muscles in a safe way, focus on core strengthening exercises.
-The only exercises generally considered to be off limits for a pregnant woman are those which require balance or those that stretch the ligaments. For obvious reasons, it’s best to avoid exercises which require balance once your expanding belly begins to interfere with your gait. This usually occurs around the 4th month of pregnancy and should include exercises such as bicycling, roller blading, skiing, skating and horseback riding.
-As for deep ligament stretches such a deep squats and lunges, it’s important to note that a pregnant woman has higher levels of progesterone which increases the risk for injury during these types of movements.
So, what are you waiting for?! Grab a bottle of water, lace up those sneakers and get moving Mama! Stay safe!
Love, Nurse April