Upon learning that they are pregnant, many women stop their diet and exercise routines. While experts agree that pregnant women should have a full, balanced diet, they also agree that they should not be eating for two. In fact at most, they should only be consuming an extra 300 calories a day.
The fact of the matter is that a woman’s life doesn’t stop when a pregnancy occurs. She can still maintain a healthy diet, and even exercise. However, if a woman works out avidly, they should reduce the intensity and amount as to prevent injury or over exhaustion.
Remember: everything in moderation. You can exercise, but don’t overdo it. You can diet, but make sure you’re getting the necessary nutrients to support your growing child. Listed below are some common questions regarding how to start or continue an exercise program while pregnant. Always consult your obstetrician or general practitioner before starting any workout routine.
When Can I Start?
Talk to your obstetrician about exercising during your pregnancy. You must first get the green light from your doctor. If you have high blood pressure, a history of heart disease, or pregnancy-related complications, your doctor may advise you to rest as much as possible.
If this is the case, ask your obstetrician if you can walk for about 30 minutes a day. This is all it takes to stay active and mobile during your pregnancy.
What Exercises are Safest?
If you are a runner, know that it is safe to continue your running regimen throughout pregnancy. Many pregnant runners have completed half-marathons while 5 months pregnant. Just look up some running tips for pregnant women.
Swimming is another great exercise for pregnant women, as it reduces the strain on joints. You can also do yoga or cycle on a stationary bicycle.
What Exercises are Unsafe?
Any activity that may cause you to fall should be avoided at all costs. This includes horseback riding, skiing, or bike riding. All contact sports should also be avoided. Football, hockey, kickboxing, soccer, and basketball are all unsafe sports to be playing while pregnant.
Why Exercise During a Pregnancy?
Exercise can ease back pain, boost your energy level, prevent that excess weight gain, and can even better prepare you for labor. Working out and staying active also reduces your risk of gestational diabetes and post-partum depression.
When Should I Stop?
Stop when you feel like stopping, because you should always listen to your body. If you get to the point of breathlessness, stop the activity immediately.
Also, avoid any exercises that require you to lie on your back during the second and third trimesters, as this can decrease blood flow to the uterus.