Fitness and Pregnancy? What is safe and what isn’t. These are the guidelines I have been following throughout my pregnancy!
Some of the benefits of exercising while pregnant:
Congratulations!! You may have just found out you are pregnant or have been expecting for a while. Either way, I’m are glad you are here!! Today we will be discussing exercising while pregnant. These are the guidelines I have been following throughout my pregnancy. I’m sure you have heard tons of information from various sources about what to do and what not to do. The truth is, it is different for every person. Not two pregnancies are the same, so there isn’t a cookie cutter rule that everyone should follow. In general, you should follow the rule of thirds. You do this by decreasing your activity by 1/3 in each trimester of pregnancy, based on how active you were prior to your pregnancy. If you were not active prior to being pregnant, this is not the time to start Olympic weightlifting, but walking is an excellent source of exercise that could be a good start. And let’s face it, sometimes with that first trimester fatigue, walking is all you are able to do!
So now you want to be active, what should you do and not do? Going through labor, you will engage core, pelvic floor and lower extremity muscles, just to name a few. Knowing this, awesome exercises include squats, lunges, Kegels, bridges, bird dogs and planks. If any of these moves are painful, you should not continue them. Also, feel free to modify these exercises as needed, you don’t need to do things perfect right away. As mentioned before, walking should always be a go to exercise. Other good suggestions would be swimming and prenatal yoga. If you are not able to find a specific prenatal yoga class, be sure to inform the instructor you are pregnant, and they will often help you modify each pose. For me, I often struggle with my busy schedule to get to exercise classes. I personally love online fitness classes. For me, Popsugar Fitness has awesome classes that range from 10 minutes to 60 minutes. I am able to choose whatever works best for me that day.
That leads us to what not to do. First, if any exercise causes pain you should stop or modify the exercise. Once you get further along in your pregnancy, it is important you avoid laying on your back to do exercises, especially for extended periods of time. The reason for this is because the pressure of baby on your vessels could block blood flow. You should also avoid any excessive twisting motions or stretching for too long of a period. While pregnant, your body produces a hormone called Relaxin. This hormone is good because it preps your body for labor and causes ligaments to loosen, but it can also lead to feeling unstable and pain. If you are experiencing this, be careful to not get too deep into a yoga pose or stretch too much. That could just increase your pain and instability.
Giving birth is like running a marathon, and very few people would run a marathon without training. With this in mind, being active throughout your pregnancy is something I think is very important. It preps you for labor, but can also have other benefits including fewer aches and pains, increased pelvic floor strength, and increased energy. If you have any personal questions about an exercise feel free to ask one of the doctors in the clinic, we would be happy to answer them.
Yours in Health and Wellness,
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