Exercise has a crucial role to play to keep you fit and fine during pregnancy. It helps you reduce discomforts associated with pregnancy such as back pain, constipation, and swelling. Moreover, it equips your body for labor and delivery. However, many questions come to your mind when you plan your exercise schedule. Most expectant moms are unaware of planning a safe and appropriate exercise schedule for them. If you are one among them, worry not. We have got you covered. Know these exercise tips for pregnancy.
Choose The Right Exercise
It is indeed safe to exercise during pregnancy. But, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before you begin your exercise regimen. During your early prenatal visits, discuss with the doctor regarding exercise. He/she will guide you and suggest you suitable exercises for your body type. Thus, you can develop an exercise schedule that fits your needs.
Take It Slowly
Are you new to exercise? Start out slowly. It is better to gradually increase your activities. For beginners, 5 minutes a day will be good enough. Those pregnant women who were physically active before pregnancy can remain so during pregnancy. As long as you are comfortable, there is no harm. But, as we said, get approval from your doctor.
Make Yourself Comfortable
Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes. Always choose a good supportive bra. A sports bra that gives lots of support is a good choice. Go for well-fitting shoes that are ideal for the type of exercise you are doing. Choose a temperature-controlled room to do exercise.
Yes, drinking water is the most important healthy tip for pregnancy. You should not forget it when you do exercise. Make sure that you drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. Dizziness or pounding heart are signs of dehydration. Also, nutritious food is a must for your pregnancy, as well as, your exercise program. Do not exercise for at least 1 hour after eating.
Exercise on a flat, level surface to reduce the risk of injury. Refrain from exercising outside when it is very hot or humid. You should avoid overheating. Remember, do not exercise to the point of exhaustion. Always keep in mind that you should get up slowly and gradually after doing floor exercises. This will prevent chances of dizziness. If you are not able to talk while exercising, understand that it is a sign to slow down.
How Much Should You Exercise During Pregnancy?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant women get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. It can be 30-minute workouts on 5 days of the week or smaller 10-minute workouts throughout each day.
Wondering what is moderate-intensity aerobic activity? For example, brisk walking is a moderate-intensity aerobic activity. It means that you move large muscles of the body, like those in the legs and arms, in a rhythmic way. But, the movement should be of moderate intensity, which is enough to raise your heart rate and start sweating. You will be able to talk normally, but won’t be able to sing.
Why You Should Not Exercise?
Even though exercise is safe, certain health conditions make it unsafe during pregnancy. Those women with cervical insufficiency, preeclampsia, severe anemia, or certain types of heart and lung diseases should avoid exercise. For those women who develop placenta previa after 26 weeks of pregnancy, exercise may not be a good option. If there is a history of miscarriage or preterm delivery, doctors may not advise exercise.
A Word of Caution
Try to avoid standing still or lying flat on your back as much as possible. In this position, your uterus may press on a large vein that returns blood to the heart. Thus, it may affect the amount of blood returning to your heart, causing your blood pressure to decrease for a short time.
Pregnancy restricts you from doing certain activities that put you at increased risk of injury. For instance, skydiving, scuba diving, and contact sports may not be good for you. Any activity that increases the risk of abdominal trauma should be avoided. Hot yoga or hot pilates may cause you to become overheated and hence, should be avoided. Refrain from activities where falling is more likely.
Also, you should stop exercising if you notice any of these warning signs:
- Bleeding from the vagina
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath before starting exercise
- Regular, painful contractions of the uterus