Ok, so you have never really been into following a regular exercise program and now you have decided it would be beneficial to start exercising now that you are pregnant.
You need to remind yourself that your body will soon be going through many changes and that means exercising will be different in some important ways. Here is a quick checklist of 4 things to keep in mind when it comes to exercising during pregnancy.
- Check with your healthcare provider
It’s always recommended to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program and even more so during pregnancy. There are some conditions where you should limit or not do exercises; your doctor is the best person to discuss this with you. When in doubt play it safe and contact your physician. For more on why you can’t exercise during pregnancy read our “what makes exercise dangerous” article.
- Know your limits
You need to make sure not to overdue it, both for you and your baby. Some easy steps to make sure you stay within your fitness limits:
- The Talk Test: You should be able to carry on a conversation during your workout without gasping for breath.
- The Pulse Test: Keep your heart rate below 140 beats per minutes. You can quickly take your pulse underneath your jaw or on your wrist for 10 seconds, then multiply by 6.
- Stop Signs: If you have dizziness, faintness, headaches, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, bleeding or any other pain, STOP immediately and contact your healthcare provider before continuing. Also, a little perspiration is fine, but a drenching sweat is a signal to stop. Read our danger signs article for more.
- Pick the correct exercises
Take it easy on your joints — don’t lift too much weight and avoid exercising with extreme bending, such as deep knee bends and gymnastics. Know that your balance is changing, so be extra careful, even just when getting up or down.To protect your baby avoid activities where risk of a falling or trauma is high, such as; tennis, soccer, softball, baseball, hockey, football, hang gliding, fencing, water/snow skiing, scuba diving, ice skating and basketball.
- Stay cool and hydrated
It’s important to stay cool while you are exercising, as you and your baby can more easily overheat during pregnancy. Avoid exercising in hot or humid weather or places that aren’t well ventilated, and make sure to wear something cool and comfortable. Many people like to wear layers, so they can adjust as they get warmer.To stay hydrated drink two eight-ounce glasses of water before, during and after you exercise, plus an extra eight ounces during every 20 minutes of exercise. This will keep you cool and make your muscles work better. Also, make sure not to exercise on an empty stomach, you’ll feel better and will avoid blood sugar swings.
In our pregnancy video section we have a whole range of videos for you to watch which cover a whole range of subjects, from general pregnancy, complications, newborn care and even beauty.
We have a video which related to fitness and exercise – so be sure to check it out in the video section here