Pregnancy, with all the body changes and exhaustion that accompany it, can be intimidating if you are active and enjoy regular exercise. Most pregnancies don’t have to be characterized by inactivity. Unless your doctor says otherwise, you can bring your exercise routine into your pregnancy and continue enjoying an active lifestyle.
What You Can Do
Talk with your doctor before starting any exercise routine. If you get the thumbs up, undertake an aerobic routine to work your legs, arms and other major muscle groups. Always engage your abdominal muscles to keep them strong and supportive as your uterus and your baby grow. Throughout the day, do Kegel exercises to engage the muscles of your pelvic floor. This will help you give birth and heal after.
How Hard Should You Work
If you have been participating in exercise before you are pregnant, you can continue running, biking or other exercising at your normal pace. You should be able to work as hard as you did before, but you may hit a point of exhaustion sooner. Don’t push yourself if you get tired. If you are new to exercise, try something light like swimming or walking. Never overexert yourself. Now is not the time to push yourself beyond your comfort level.
What You Shouldn’t Do
Although the work of exercise won’t harm an average pregnancy, injuries can. Exercises that involve impact, like certain competitive sports, should wait until after birth. Avoid anything that could involve falling from a height. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that around the halfway point of pregnancy, you should be careful about lying on your back, which can inhibit proper circulation.
When You Should Start
Ideally, you should start an exercise routine before you get pregnant. This will teach you to integrate it into your daily life and make you aware of your abilities, breathing and muscle control. If you find out you are pregnant before you get a chance to start a routine, start as early in your pregnancy as possible. As your pregnancy progresses, you will gain weight and experience swelling, nausea and exhaustion. The sooner you get started, the easier it will be to maintain and safely exercise during pregnancy.
How It Can Help
If your joints are aching, you may find the buoyancy of water in water aerobics or swimming to be useful. Improved circulation in aerobic activity can give you more energy. Exercise will help regulate the amount of weight you gain throughout the nine months. With the cravings and exhaustion, it will be easy to nibble on treats, but exercise will keep you focused on healthy living.