Pregnancy is not the time to go on a fitness blitz, but it is an important time to maintain an exercise routine. Exercising during pregnancy will make you feel more energetic, improve your sleep patterns and relieve some of the uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms such as back pain, constipation and bloating. Even if you were not very active before becoming pregnant, there is no time like the present to begin a fitness regimen.
Top 10 things to remember for exercising during pregnancy:
1. Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. If you have previously been inactive, start out slow by breaking it down into three 10-minute segments. Some great ways to start your workout routine are with low-impact activities such as walking, jogging, swimming or cycling.
2. Wear shoes that are in good condition as you have extra weight to support. You may even have to buy a new pair of shoes in a larger size if your feet swell during pregnancy. The bones in your feet also may spread out a bit to support the extra weight you are carrying.
3. Wear a sports bra that fits well and gives plenty of support. This is essential as your breasts will be increasing in size and may be tender.
4. Drink plenty of fluids. This is important for anyone who is exercising, but especially during pregnancy as your body needs increased water intake for a healthy placenta. Drink before, during and after your workout.
5. Begin any workout with stretching and warming up for 5 minutes. During pregnancy your ligaments are stretching and your joints getting looser, which can increase chances of injury. Walking or stationary cycling are good warm-up options.
6. Exercise on a wooden floor or tightly carpeted surface. This gives you better footing as your balance may be slightly off due to the extra weight in front of your body.
7. Get up slowly after lying or sitting on the floor to avoid feeling dizzy or fainting. It is easier to feel light-headed during pregnancy.
8. Make sure you can carry on a conversation at a normal level. Exercise that is overly intense will draw oxygen and blood flow away from the uterus if it is needed in the muscles. It is important not to exercise to the point that you are out of breath.
9. Keep motions smooth and low-impact. Jerky, bouncy, high-impact, and jarring motions can strain your joints and cause injury.
10. Follow all intense exercise with cooling down and stretching for 5-10 minutes. This will prevent muscle stiffness from setting in.
For a fit pregnancy, find an activity you enjoy doing and this will increase your desire to exercise on a regular basis. Beginning now will make you feel better during pregnancy, develop muscle tone to prepare you for labor, and make your body bounce back quicker after delivery.