If you are nervous about working out when you are pregnant, don’t be! Exercising during your pregnancy has a lot of great benefits. It can help lift your spirits and prepare you for labor and childbirth. Rules for exercising during pregnancy are extremely important for every mom-to-be who wants to stay fit during their pregnancy! Read on to discover a few most important rules of safe pregnancy exercise.
1. Don’t start any new exercise program
The first rule of safe pregnancy exercise is to avoid starting any new exercise program when you are pregnant. You should also avoid training for extreme sports or marathons. Spin classes are actually a bad idea, because they put too much strain on your abdomen. You need to stick to your regular exercise program or such programs as water aerobics and yoga.
2. Warm up and cool down
One of the main rules for everyone to follow is to warm up and cool down. When you are pregnant, you must take extra care while exercising. Exercise-related injuries could be far more dangerous and painful to you and your baby than you think. Cooling down is important since you should get your heart rate back down to a normal pace.
3. Monitor your heart rate
A pregnant woman shouldn’t get her heart rate above 140 to be safe. If you do not have a heart rate monitor, you need to invest in one if you’re going to exercise during pregnancy. Most gym machines come with heart rate monitors, but if you don’t go to a gym, you’ll need to watch your heart rate as you exercise.
4. Stay hydrated
This is another most important rule of safe pregnancy exercise! Sure, it’s vital to stay hydrated for everybody, but a pregnant woman must be especially careful about drinking plenty of water when exercising. To be safe drink enough water before, during and after your workouts!
5. Consume extra calories
As a pregnant woman, you should eat 300-500 extra calories every single day to support your baby! And if you are exercising, you need to add another couple hundred calories per day to that number! Exercising burns lots of calories, so make sure your weight gain is increasing, steady and healthy.
6. Don’t lie on your back
During and after the first trimester of your pregnancy, it’s recommended to avoid lying on your back, especially while working out. As the uterus grows it becomes heavier and that may cut off blood flow to the main artery in your back, especially if you lie on your back for a long period of time. This can cause dizzy spells, lightheadedness, or even fainting in worse cases!
7. Remember the 15-minute rule
If you are in your late second trimester and the third trimester of pregnancy, you should use the 15-minute rule! Exercise for 15 minutes, take a short rest and exercise another 15 minutes. Don’t forget to cool down! During the rest period of your pregnancy, slow down your workout to a steady flow of swimming or biking, or a walk. This will prevent injury and keep you from overdoing it!
If you are pregnant you should clear your exercise program with your doctor first. Although most doctors encourage exercise during pregnancy, it all depends on woman’s level of health. Do what’s best and right for you and your baby! What other rules of safe pregnancy exercise do you know? Share your thoughts, please!