The days of old where you don’t exercise while you are pregnant have come and gone. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “Pregnancy should not be viewed as an excuse not to exercise.” Making sure that you maintain your fitness while you are pregnant is a major concern as you will inevitability gain weight, and how much you gain can vary immensely. The following are the top 5 tips to maintaining your fitness during pregnancy.
1 – Communicate with Your Doctor
The first tip is to communicate with your doctor. Make sure that you have the all clear from your physician before engaging in strenuous activity. Unless you fall into the high risk category, you will usually be able to work out much as you did before getting pregnant, but it is nevertheless prudent to get the okay before beginning.
2 – Set up a Routine
Making sure that you follow a set routine is tip number two. Allowing yourself to stay active by strength training, swimming, and continuing your regular exercise will allow you to maintain your fitness throughout the pregnancy. Studies have shown that including strength training during pregnancy is not only safe but also highly beneficial to an overall healthy pregnancy. Adding structure will keep you motivated and on track to maintaining your fitness during pregnancy.
3 – Stay Hydrated and Listen to Your Body
Tip number three is to make sure that you stay hydrated and listen to your body. Ensuring that you have sufficient liquids is vital when you are exercising because you are now supporting two lives. Even mild dehydration can by a problem when you are not pregnant so taking the extra precaution when you are pregnant is highly advised. Your body will generally tell you when you are overexerting yourself or if you need an extra glass of water so listen carefully.
4 – Warm Up and Cool Down
The fourth tip is to make sure that you take the time to properly warm up and cool down. This will help with the muscle cramping and spasms that occur naturally as your body exchanges minerals, vitamins and fluids with the baby. When you are exercising you exacerbate this and this is why you should take care to warm up and cool down properly to prevent these minor injuries from derailing your prenatal fitness routine.
5 – Include Pelvic Floor Exercises
The final tip is to take time to include pelvic floor exercises. This muscle group gets a lot of strain by the expanding uterus and a few extra exercises will strengthen these muscles and allow them to do their job with less strain and are an easy addition to your fitness during pregnancy routine.
With these 5 tips to maintain your fitness during pregnancy you will be confident to exercise as per usual and fight the excess weight that you might have otherwise gained. Also check out last week’s article on how to lose pregnancy weight after your birth. Maintaining your fitness during pregnancy will make losing that extra postpartum weight much easier.