A Guide To Working Out During Pregnancy (Do’s & Don’ts)
Before I got pregnant, I liked to run.
I wouldn’t classify myself as a “running enthusiast” but I did run a half marathon and averaged about 3 miles per run, a few times a week.
Once I found out I was with child, I was adamant about not giving up my cardio sweat sessions.
The first trimester was a breeze, but the second trimester gave me some trouble.
My belly started to get bigger and running became uncomfortable.
I tried supports, like a belly band, but it just came to a point where running was no longer enjoyable.
I didn’t want to quit exercise altogether, so a little creativity was necessary.
With my doctor’s help (yes, he still wanted me to exercise), I got into cycling and yoga. Both were better for my joints and I felt less pain and pressure.
If you’re wondering if you can still work out safely when you’re pregnant, or if you want to start getting more active because of the awesome health benefits exercise provides, read on to learn everything there is no know about exercising while pregnant.
Is Exercising During Pregnancy Safe?
In the past, pregnant women were discouraged from exercising.
But today, women are exercising more than ever because doctors deem it safe, within reason. So, yes, exercising during pregnancy is safe (for the most part).
If you’ve always stayed active, it’s important to mention this to your medical professional.
Chances are, they’ll urge you to keep active.
But, in some circumstances, exercise may not be recommended it you have any kind of medical condition.
Your Ob/Gyn may tell you not to exercise if:
Your doctor will be able to determine if exercise is or is not for you, based on various stages in your pregnancy.
So, as we always say around here: check with your doctor!
5 Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy
If you do get the green light to exercise, doing so while pregnant can have loads of benefits, including:
- 1Increases your energy. A body in motion stays in motion. Exercise will help you get off the couch and get a little more pep in your step.
- 2Improves your mood. Kiss that bad mood goodbye. Exercise releases endorphins, your body’s natural happiness “drug.”
- 3Decreased bloating & constipation. When you get moving, you keep your body’s systems moving. Enough said.
- 4A better night's sleep. When you get a good sweat session in, your body will embrace your bed and you’ll be more likely to fall asleep (and stay asleep) with ease.
- 5Prepares the body for labor. Your body is going to be going through quite the battle. Make sure it’s strong and powerful, and you develop some good stamina to help you through contractions and pushing.
5 Exercises You Can Try
Walking. A nice, brisk walk can get your heart pumping and tone your body. Be sure to map out a route the boasts rolling hills for an added challenge. Walking is also great for those who were not overly active before getting pregnant.
Swimming. Swimming is easy on the body, it burns calories, tones your bod, and is a soothing stress reliever!
Yoga. Yoga builds long and lean muscles and helps promote breathing techniques which can come in use during labor.
Cycling. Indoor cycling takes pressure off your knees and really promotes cardiovascular health. It tones, torches calories, and can be done seated rather than standing, later in your pregnancy.
Running. If you ran prior to pregnancy, there’s no reason why you can’t keep it up. Doctors advise 30 minute jogs and the support of a belly or back band once your tummy starts to show and grow.
Types of Exercises to Avoid
While exercise is beneficial to both mom and baby, there are a few activities you’ll want to avoid.
Here are some additional tips that will help you remain active, but stay safe:
Exercise during pregnancy has many benefits.
It helped me gain less weight, maintain my body tone, it supported my balance, and it helped clear my mind.
I strongly believed it helped with not only my labor and delivery, but my postpartum recovery as well.
Be sure to strike up a conversation with your doctor at your next visit to determine if exercise during pregnancy is for you, and brainstorm appropriate activities for your medical needs and lifestyle!