Most women can safely exercise during pregnancy. In fact, exercise offers a number of benefits for you and baby, too. For example, you will reduce your risk of gestational diabetes and you may have an easier time with labor and delivery. Exercise during pregnancy will give you an energy boost and help you avoid common problems such as constipation, low energy and back pain. Before you get started get the all clear from your health care provider. Enjoy being active and stay safe with these tips.
Choose your activity level based on your stage of pregnancy
As your pregnancy advances your center of gravity may shift and impact your balance. Also, hormonal changes will cause your ligaments and joints to loosen. That could lead to potential for injury from falls and sprains. If you were running before the pregnancy, you may want to begin walking or swimming as the weeks pass.
Wear comfortable clothing – Choose breathable, non-binding fabric to avoid overheating.
Stay hydrated – Staying hydrated is particularly important during pregnancy. Water helps with common problems like constipation and urinary infections. It is also important to help your organs meet the increased demands of pregnancy. Because you lose fluids during exercise it is especially important to replace them. Don’t worry about sugar laden energy drinks. Water is fine for exercise that lasts less than an hour.
Go low impact – Most low impact exercise is safe for pregnant moms. Activities such as prenatal yoga, walking, swimming, some stationary biking and weight training are great choices. At the gym, look for classes specifically planned for expectant moms. These classes have already been modified with your physical changes in mind.
Probably the best way to exercise safely during pregnancy is to pay attention to the messages your body is giving you. Concerns include dizziness, nausea, leakage, blurred vision, difficulty breathing and heart palpitations. Realize that the cues during pregnancy may be different from the ones you received before your body was managing so many big changes. Make modifications as needed and share any concerns with your healthcare provider. Finally, pregnancy is not the time to go for a personal record. Instead, the goal is to maintain a level of activity that feels good without overdoing it. There will be plenty of time after delivery to go for the gold.