While some women elect to make their pregnancy a time of rest and relaxation, others commit to be fit throughout the nine months. By working to maintain or build your fitness level during your pregnancy, you may be able to make the process of bringing your new little one into the world a bit easier and allow yourself to more rapidly shed the pounds you pack on while carrying your soon-to-arrive infant.
Benefits of During Pregnancy Workouts
Staying active during your pregnancy has a host of potential benefits, reports the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. This source reports that exercise during pregnancy increases your energy and may improve your mood. Keeping active also promotes muscle tone development and helps you get the rest you need to keep your body and your baby healthy. Taking the time out to exercise may even reduce your risks of developing gestational diabetes, a potentially serious pregnancy complication.
Target Workout Heart Rate
While some worry about raising their heart rate too significantly during pregnancy, WebMD reports that moms-to-be have nothing to worry about in regards to target heart rate. While some exercise-related lore has indicated that pregnant women should never elevate their heart past 130 beats per minute, this source states that that idea is antiquated and that moms-to-be need not worry about their heart rate level, but focus more on cues from their body that point to exhaustion.
When to Stop
Although exercise during pregnancy is good, there is such a thing as overdoing it, reports KidsHealth. If you experience dizziness, heart palpitations or shortness of breath while working out during your pregnancy, you should take a break and reduce your effort level when you return to physical activity. These symptoms can indicate that you are pushing yourself to the limit and be your body’s way of telling you to slow down a bit.
Increased Injury Risk
Exercising moms-to-be need to be a bit more cautious than traditional work-outers, as they are more prone to injury. As WebMD reports, your body creates a hormone called relaxin while you are pregnant. This hormone is vital to vaginal child birth, as it lubricates your joints, allowing your body to stretch and bend as required for child birth. Because your joints are loosened due to the presence of relaxin, you must be a bit more careful as you could more easily twist or sprain joints during this period.
Exercises to Avoid
Not all exercises are the best choice when pregnant. As WebMD reports, pregnant mothers should avoid exercises that require highly developed balance, such as skiing or skating, as pregnancy does impact your ability to balance. This impact can be felt particularly keenly after the fourth month. In addition, taking a tumble while pregnant is potentially more serious than taking a standard fall, so you should avoid activities that put you at an elevated risk of falling.