Even though you’re pregnant, that doesn’t mean you can’t lace up your sneakers and head to the gym. The truth is that exercising while you’re pregnant actually boosts your mood and may even help prepare you for labor. It can help you sleep better, boost your energy, reduce backaches, help prevent excess weight gain and increase your self-confidence.
*Related: 10 Stretches to Keep you Fit for Life
However, it’s important to educate yourself on the safety precautions. Pregnant women should never exercise while lying flat down on their back, they should avoid working out in high heat and they should always remember to warm up, cool down and stretch.
Women that are encountering a complicated pregnancy should definitely seek their doctor’s approval before starting any exercise routine.
Here are 7 tips for exercising during pregnancy.
1. Consume enough calories- Make sure you are consuming enough calories to meet the needs of your pregnancy. Remember, exercising burns calories so you want to be sure you are consuming enough of them. It’s important to keep your body healthy and well-nourished.
2. Make sure you warm up- Don’t dive right into your workout. It’s important to always warm up and stretch for at least 5 minutes before you begin exercising. You have to prepare your muscles and joints and increase your heart rate slowly; this will also help avoid injury, such as muscle strains and pains.
3. Wear loose-fitting clothing- Wear loose fitting clothing to ensure comfortability and put on a good support bra. Also, wear the right sneakers; it’s common that your feet may encounter mild swelling during pregnancy. That being said, you may want to swap out your old pair for a new pair in a larger size.
4. Make sure you cool down- End your workout with a slower exercise and gentle stretching. It’s important to decrease your heart rate slowly. Try walking in place for 10 minutes.
--Related: 7 Benefits of Stretching
5. Drink a lot of water- Make sure you are drinking water before, during and after your workout. Staying hydrated is always important while you exercise, but even more when you’re pregnant. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, make sure you replenish any fluids lost during exercise.
6. Don’t lie flat on your back- Avoid any exercises that require you to lie flat on your back, especially after your first trimester. The weight of your uterus puts pressure on the vena cava vein; this can reduce blood flow to your heart. You may begin to feel nauseous, dizzy and out of breath.
7. After Pregnancy- Try Stroller Exercises – squats, lunges, lateral leg lifts, oblique crunches, single arm chest presses and more. See them all here: Working Out With Baby And Enhancing Your Run: Stroller Exercises.
--Nicole Dossantos Editor The Active Times