One of the questions we get asked most often is… “Should I exercise when I’m pregnant?” Yes, you should exercise while pregnant because of the powerful benefits for stamina, circulation, weight control, and energy levels. However, there are some things to consider in terms of ensuring safe and effective exercise.
Choose the right kind of exercise for you. If you already exercise, continue doing what you’re used to doing. If you haven’t been exercising – or if you’re brand new to exercising – make exercise a part of your daily routine. Be sure to start off slowly and increase the amount of exercise over time. It’s never good to overdo it.
Select a form of low-impact exercise. This could include low-impact aerobics, swimming, walking on the treadmill, and prenatal yoga. The exercises and activities you should avoid are obvious, but we’ll repeat them anyway: never, ever go scuba diving, skydiving, waterskiing, downhill skiing, or rock climbing when pregnant.
Don’t exercise if you have these conditions. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, you shouldn’t exercise during pregnancy if you’ve had 3 or more miscarriages, ruptured membranes, preterm labor, incompetent cervix, bleeding or placenta previa, heart disease or multiple gestations
Always follow these 9 exercise guidelines –
- Start off slowly and cool down adequately
- If you feel breathless, dizzy or overtired, stop and rest
- Don’t hold your breath during exercise
- Perform exercise slowly and under control
- Avoid pushing, pulling or leaning that will strain your muscles or cause you to lose your balance. Remember, your center of gravity is different when pregnant.
- Wear supportive footwear and comfortable clothing
- Keep pulse rate under 140 beats per minute
- Avoid exercise in hot, humid weather
- Be sure to drink plenty of water or Gatorade-like liquids to stay hydrated
If you follow these guidelines, you should be good to go! If you have any questions about exercising when pregnant, please feel free to talk to your doctor about them. Our goal is the healthiest possible baby…and the healthiest possible you!