As a soon-to-be mommy, you're going to want to make sure that you are as healthy as possible. Some women are apprehensive to exercise during pregnancy, but it's important to get enough physical activity as long as your doctor gives you the okay. Are you unsure of where to start? Should you go to the gym or jog on your at-home treadmill? What about signing up for a yoga class? Take a look at some considerations to keep in mind during your prenatal fitness routine:
- Avoid exercising in extreme heat: Exercising in overly hot and humid climates can increase your risk of dehydration. If it's too hot to exercise outside, move your workout to a cool and comfortable indoor facility.
- Ease into it: Your pregnancy body is a lot different from your body before baby, which is why it's important to start slowly, even if you're a pro athlete! Begin with low-impact cardio activities and then see how your body reacts to these workouts. Once you get a feel for your changing physique, then you can start performing more advanced exercise routines.
- Keep a routine: "Aim for a routine you can do five days a week," writes Micky Morrisson of The Bump. "[Maternal exercise researcher] Dr. Clapp's studies showed that women who exercise five times per week throughout pregnancy experience shorter labor and fewer medical interventions during birth, but those who exercise less frequently did not." Not only will a routine keep you healthy, it will also minimize the risk of injury compared to sporadic exercising. It may be hard to make time for regular exercise, but now is a great time to give your mind and body a little extra TLC – especially since it will be difficult to find free time when your little bundle of joy finally arrives!
- Monitor your heart rate: While engaging in exercise, it's important to check your heart rate regularly. During cardio training, your rate should stay within 60 to 70 percent of your max heart rate range. To figure out your max heart rate, simple subtract your age from the number 220.
- Opt for cardio: Cardio workouts are great for soon-to-be mommies. This type of exercise is beneficial for both mom and baby. Some low-impact suggestions include swimming, walking, water aerobics, working out on the elliptical machine and low-impact aerobic classes. Be sure to avoid contact sports such as volleyball or softball, which can be dangerous for both you and your baby. Activities with a risk of falling, such as horseback riding or skiing, should also be avoided.
- Strengthen muscles: In addition to cardio, it's also important to strengthen your muscles during pregnancy. After all, soon you will have to lift your bundle of joy frequently! Experts say that it's still safe to lift weights during your pregnancy. If you're uncomfortable with traditional weight training, try using your body weight as resistance to build up muscles. Just make sure you exhibit good form so you can decrease your risk of injury. Some gyms offer a complimentary physical training session tailored to the needs of pregnant women.
As always, work with your doctor to develop a healthy prenatal exercise regimen. Some high-risk pregnancies require extra care so it may not be safe to exercise if you fall into this category. For more health and wellness tips throughout your entire pregnancy, be sure to follow our blog or visit your local Brixy retailer!