How to Exercise Safely During Pregnancy
Pregnancy drains your energy level, but regular exercise can help you get through your day and even make delivery a smoother process. Whether you take up power walking or prenatal yoga, here are some tips to follow for safe exercising during pregnancy.
Check with Your Physician First
If you exercised avidly before you became pregnant, chances are you can most likely continue working out. But, exercise is not safe for every pregnant woman so make sure to ask your doctor first. You don't want to put yourself or your baby at risk.
Warming up prepares your joints and muscles for exercise and slowly builds up your heart rate. Make sure to warm up before working out so that you don't strain your muscles and experience post-workout muscle aches. Pregnancy itself brings on enough aches and pains as it is!
Make sure to keep track of your caloric intake if you begin exercising. You will need to add calories to your diet to make up for lost calories during a workout. But, as always, make sure to eat enough nutrients and vitamins so your baby is healthy.
Drink Enough Water
Make sure you are staying hydrated when working out. Drink water before, during and after you exercise. Dehydration can cause contractions and a rise in body temperature.
Don't Do Anything Dangerous
This may be obvious, but it needs to be mentioned nonetheless. Avoid contact sports and activities that involve balance, like biking. You are more susceptible to injuries from falls.
Don't Lie Flat on Your Back
It's unsafe to lie flat on your back after the first trimester. This puts pressure on a major vein in your brain, which will diminish blood flow to your brain and uterus, causing dizziness, shortness of breath, and nausea. Instead, put a pillow under your back.
Watch Your Body Temperature
Try not to let yourself get overheated during your workout. If you are sweating profusely, uncomfortably warm, or feel dizzy, stop working out. Exercise in a well-ventilated, temperature-controlled room, especially in the summertime. Wear loose clothing and drink a lot of water.