Good news, mama-to-be! As long as you’ve personally got the all clear from your doctor, you can (and should!) keep on with your workout routine while you’re pregnant. We know, we know…you’re bloated, constipated, you’ve got a killer back ache, your ankles have swelled up, and you’re not sleeping. So while you may not feel like lacing up those sneakers and hitting your favorite Jazzercise class, as it turns out, exercising while pregnant can actually minimize some of the common aches and pains of pregnancy! Of course, the most important thing is that you break a sweat safely. Here are our tips and tricks for exercising while expecting:
How much exercise is recommended during pregnancy?
- It is generally recommended that healthy pregnant women get at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. Moderate-intensity means you’re active enough to increase your heart rate and break a sweat, but not so much that you’re huffing and puffing for your next breath. Of course, you don’t have to do all 2½ hours all at once. Break up your physical activity into 10, 20 or 30-minute increments throughout the day or week depending on how you feel.
What are the benefits of exercising while pregnant?
- Working out while pregnant is one of the most effective cures for common aches and pains while pregnant. Regular exercise also reduces your risk of pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, as well as reducing the risk of needing a C-section. Of course, a regular exercise routine also has amazing benefits for your mind, which is incredibly important during pregnancy. Working out while pregnant will help you manage stress and get a better night’s sleep. In addition, working out during pregnancy will prepare your body for birth, helping to give you strength and energy to get through labor. And trust us, you’re gonna need it!
What are some tips to ensure a safe workout during pregnancy?
- While exercising during pregnancy is generally very safe, there are a few precautions you’ll want to follow in order to ensure a safe sweat sesh. As always, drink plenty of water and pay close attention to how your body feels. While pregnant, make sure to ease into your workout with a warm up, and always end with a cool down. A little sweat is a good thing, but getting drenched is a sign that it may be too warm or that you’re overdoing it. Sorry, that means no hot yoga classes for the next 9 months!
- As a general rule of thumb, you should work out only so hard that you can still talk while you’re moving, not so much so that you’re completely out of breath. In addition, avoid any exercises that have you lying flat on your back as well as ab-specific moves such as sit ups and double leg lifts. And as always, listen to your body and stop exercising if you experience any out of the ordinary sensations. Safety first!
What kinds of activities are safe during pregnancy?
- Most exercises are safe to perform during pregnancy, as long as you do them with caution and don’t overdo it. Here are some of the doctor-recommended workouts that are safe for our expecting friends:
- Yoga and Pilates
- Low-Impact Aerobics
- Indoor Cycling
- Strength Training
Does pregnancy change your body’s response to exercise?
- Of course it does! Would you expect anything less from pregnancy?! Even for the most seasoned fitness buff, working out while pregnant can be a whole new experience, especially as your belly grows! For starters, because your body’s working hard to take care of a growing baby, you may have less energy than you’re used to. You’ll also notice an increased heart rate, since your heart is working harder and beats faster during pregnancy to get oxygen to your bun in the oven. You may find yourself getting more winded while working out, as your growing belly puts pressure on your diaphragm, a muscle that helps you breathe. And get ready to seriously break a sweat, since your body temperature is naturally higher during pregnancy. Lastly, and obviously, you may also notice yourself losing your balance during pregnancy, since you’ve got a whole human growing inside of you!
If you know someone with a bun in the oven, share this article with them so they have all the resources they need for safe and effective workouts throughout their pregnancy!