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Fit Pregnancy – Guidelines for Exercise while Pregnant

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Things sure have changed for pregnant ladies. Before, those who were pregnant were often told not to do much but rest. Exercise was discouraged by many. Today doctors, and health professionals alike, have changed their attitudes toward pregnancy and exercise. Staying physically active during pregnancy is now the general recommendation, as it helps reduce weight gain, causing less problems for mom, like gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.

As a pregnant lady, where do you start? What is appropriate exercise, especially once you enter your 3rd trimester? We have all heard of these mom’s who do extreme weight lifting, CrossFit or bodybuilding workouts until they pop out their little one, but for the vast majority of us that is not recommended, nor is it really going to happen. Here are some of the general recommendations to keep in mind when choosing a workout program with baby on board…

  1. Do not do high impact exercises (think tabata, jumping, burpees, sprinting, etc), especially in the third trimester, as your ligaments begin to loosen from your oxytocin production. This could lead to injury and keep you out of the exercise game.
  2. Do not take on a new, tough fitness regimen just because your pregnant and you see the scale climbing up. If you weren’t running 5k before you were pregnant, don’t do it now. Keep in mind that the scale is supposed to move in an upward direction, so don’t feel you need to kill yourself doing a crazy new workout routine. This is definitely not healthy for you or your little one.
  3. Keep with an intensity that you are used to and even take it down a notch as you progress through your pregnancy. The activitives you are doing in your first trimester will and probably should be different from those done in your third.
  4. Avoid exercises that get you laying on your back and ab exercises like crunches. Laying on your back can cut off blood flow from the weight of of your little one on your vena cava, a vein that brings blood to your heart. Also crunches and ab work during pregnancy can actually damage your abdominals since they begin to separate to make room for that growing uterus and adorable little peanut you have inside. Be sure to check for a separation in your abdominals (here will tell you how to do it) and then do standing or sitting ab work.
  5. Do not overheat. This could hurt you and your little one. So be sure to keep the intensity down and keep out of the harsh weather. Remember exercising outside should not be done midday, when the sun is at its strongest. Also avoid exercise outside all together when air quality is poor or the temperatures are extreme.

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