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The Ultimate Guide To Pregnancy Fitness
Health & Fitness
The more active and fit you are during your pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help you cope with labor and getting back into shape after birth. Keep up your normal activity level as long as you feel comfortable. Don't exhaust yourself and remember to slow down as your pregnancy progresses.
If you're looking for a way to spice up your routine, check out some of the ideas below! Remember these are just samples of the type of workouts you can do, but you may want to consult your physician before starting to be on the safe side! If you are pregnant and have your own routine, please share it in the comments!
Begin exercising 3-4 times per week firing the first month if you don't have any existing health problems.
Walking is a great place to start if you were not active prior to your pregnancy.
If you regularly participate in exercises that could be dangerous, such as horseback riding, scuba diving, gymnastics, skiing, or exercises that leave you out of breath, STOP doing these right away to avoid harm, to you and your growing baby.
Light jogging/running is a good exercise for pregnant women to participate in as long as you aren't pushing yourself to hard.
Talk to your doctor at your first appointment to make sure your exercise plan meets physician approval.
During the first 3 months, you can incorporate zumba or other dance into your routine.
Balance should not be thrown off too mych at this point in pregnancy.
Do not allow your body to overheat. This is especially important during the first trimester while your baby is developing all of the major bodily structures, If it is too hot outside, adapt your workout to take place indoors.
If you live in a safe quiet neighborhood, cycling can be a good option, but don't attempt this in areas with lots of traffic or rough roads.
An exercise bike can help you achieve this workout without the hazards of biking on the road.
At this point in your pregnancy it's a good idea to stop lying on your back. Your growing uterus can start to push down restricting your blood flow.
Stay away from any stretches or exercises that require you lay flat and try to stop sleeping on your back as well.
Swimming is a great activity to enjoy during any part of your pregnancy, and as your belly grows you may find it the only comfortable method of exercise.
Make sure that you are not excessively holding your breath, and that you use plenty of sunscreen to avoid painful burns.
Stay Hydrated. A pregnant woman needs between 2-3 liters of fluid daily, and needs an extra cup for each hour of exercise. Try to avoid caffeine and definitely don't drink any alcohol.
Kegals are exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor, so it is important for a pregnant women to add kegals to their daily routing in order to improve your labor and delivery experience.
Tightening your pelvic floor muscles a couple times per day will get you in good shape and ready to push your little one out.
As your belly grows you will find yourself off balance at times. Make sure that you avoid situation where you could easily fall and injure yourself. Wearing high heels may become dangerous, and so can other daily activities. Use extra caution.
Light weightlifting can help to strengthen your arm muscles- and you'll need some muscles after your little one arrives! Don't do bench pressing or other exercises that would require you to lay on your back.
Only lift half of what you would normally, and make sure you have a spotter.
Wear a bra with good support to avoid injuring your tender growing breasts.
You may not feel like taking a jog at this point, but a little prenatal yoga can work wonders. Not only will your circulation benefit, but you will be more relaxed which can help to prepare you for the upcoming delivery.
Try signing up for a class or buy a DVD so that you can do yoga in your own home.
Eat a snack at least 1 hour before exercising to avoid a drop in blood sugar. After you are finished eat again (even just a small snack) within an hour of finishing your workout.
Deep breathing is important throughout pregnancy and especially as your due date approaches. When you aren't breathing deep enough your lungs may expand but your stomach won't move.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. With hands on your stomach make sure that it is being pushed out with every breath.
By combining different types of exercise throughout your pregnancy you can keep your body healthy. You are more likely to have an easier delivery and recover if you keep up on your fitness needs.
Pregnancy Fitness Do's & Don't(s)
Preform Low impact exercise (cycling, walking, swimming). Standing Pelvic tilts will strengthen the abdominal muscles.
Weight training: 12-15 reps are acceptable.
20-30 minutes of exercise.
Regular medical check ups.
Drink Lots of water.
Complete a 5-10 minute pre-workout warm up.
No exercise before 12 weeks.
Do not overheat. Wear lose fitting cloths and exercise in a well ventilated area. stop if you feel hot.
Keep stretching to a minimum, follow guidelines.
Do not do exercises that involve standing on one leg.
Do not preform ab crunches.
Do not preform exercises that involve lying on your back after the first trimester.
Do not exceed 140 BPM, effort level should be 60-70% of your max heart rate.