Not long ago, women were told that exercising too much during pregnancy could be dangerous. But since then, those views have made a 180-degree turn. It's not uncommon to see 9-months-pregnant ladies bench pressing heavy weights and running marathons. What’s the deal? Is it really safe to work out while pregnant? The answer is yes, as a general rule, it is safe and beneficial! But of course, the level of exercise that you do is very much dependent upon two things: your current health and your pre-pregnancy activity level.
Sounds simple enough, right? Still, there are a few things that you should do while pregnant to help make exercise safer and more enjoyable. Read below to discover what you should know about exercising while pregnant.
We all know how important a good warm-up is before starting a workout; it's especially important now. Warming up is important for your muscles and also allows for your heart rate to build up. You should also be sure to allow time for a cool down period at the end of your warm-up to help your heart rate return to its normal pace, and to prevent unnecessary soreness.
Staying hydrated is important all the time, but getting dehydrated while pregnant is especially unpleasant. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.
Don’t Overdo It
Regardless of how fit you are, it’s important to find balance in the time and intensity levels of your workouts. You might not be able to do the hour-long rigorous routine you were able to do a few months ago, but instead, consider switching to a more moderate routine. And of course, remember: your workout during pregnancy shouldn’t be about losing weight, but rather about keeping healthy.
Another thing to be mindful of is the hormone “relaxin” – something that the body produces during pregnancy. This hormone may cause you to feel more flexible, but be careful! Never stretch beyond what you were able to pre-pregnancy to avoid injuring yourself.
Finally, it goes without saying, but do play it safe. Avoid activities and sports that might be dangerous. While you may be accustomed to riding your mountain bike through the muddy trenches and side roads, you may want to stick to workouts that are less risky.
The simple fact is this: If you are already an active person, then working out and exercising while pregnant should be ok with a few modifications. Of course, if your pregnancy is considered high risk, then that’s another story entirely. Either way, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before starting any fitness plans to get the "ok."
What type of exercise are you doing during your pregnancy?