Prenatal exercise is good for both the mother and her baby. Swimming, strength training, cycling, and steady state cardio are considered safe. Unless you have a medical problem, you should be able to exercise while pregnant. The key is to train smart and avoid activities with a high risk of falling or injury, such as horseback riding, soccer, and basketball. Make sure you follow the rules of safe pregnancy exercise:
Talk with Your Doctor
Consult your doctor before hitting the gym. In some cases, it’s not recommended to work out while pregnant. Future moms with heart disease, asthma, preeclampsia, placenta previa, or persistent bleeding should avoid aerobic exercise. The same goes for those with ruptured membranes and cervical insufficiency. If you have these problems, get the green light from your doctor before starting a fitness programme.
Listen to Your Body
Pregnancy exercise is safe as long as you don’t push yourself too hard. Your body will naturally give you signs that it’s time to stop and get some rest. Do not continue exercising if you experience intense back pain, contractions, extreme fatigue, numbness, new or persistent nausea, unusual muscle weakness, headaches, fainting, and contractions. Other warning signs include vaginal bleeding, leaking of amniotic fluid, blurred vision, and excessive shortness or breath.
Not all exercises are safe during pregnancy. Future moms can engage in light activities, such as yoga, pilates, walking, swimming, pelvic floor exercises, low impact aerobics, weight training, and stretching. CrossFit and strength training are a great choice as long as you use good lifting form and stick to low weights. Steer clear of high-risk activities and sports like mountain biking, horseback riding, scuba diving, in-line skating, and ice hockey.
Your exercise plan should focus on improving muscle tone and strength. This is not the best time to lose weight or train for a race. As a rule of thumb, avoid working out in extremely hot weather. Always warm and stretch your muscles for at least five minutes before exercise. Track your heart rate at times of peak activity, stay hydrated, and watch for any warning signs.
If you work out regularly, take in extra calories. Drink water, herbal tea, and electrolyte drinks throughout the day. When you do cardio, intensity should be low enough to allow conversation. Avoid high intensify interval training while pregnant. If something hurts, stop working out. Take a few minutes to cool down after training.