Are you expecting and wondering what you need to know about working out while pregnant? There’s good news: pregnancy is a great time to be active! Exercise can help you feel better, sleep better and ease some of your discomforts, like back pain. Here’s what you need to know to get started:
Before you run a 5K with a baby bump, check with your doctor and make sure you’re okay to compete or participate in other demanding physical activities.
A good place to start is by choosing exercise that you were doing before you were pregnant. If you enjoyed running or yoga before, you’re likely to enjoy that form of exercise while you are expecting.
Physical activity to avoid would include:
Many joggers enjoy running while pregnant, but again, because this is a more intense activity, check with your doctor first.
Stretch before you start working out and don’t try to go for extended amounts of time. A common recommendation for exercising while pregnant is moderate activity for 30 minutes. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to carry on a conversation while you work out. If you are having trouble speaking normally, you are probably pushing yourself too hard. Work out responsibly and remember to:
If you feel discomfort or pain, stop. Exercise is important, but you should also watch for danger signs including:
If you experience any of these symptoms during or after exercise, contact your doctor immediately.
As your baby develops, changes in your body will occur. As these changes happen, you may need to adjust your activities and exercise as necessary. These changes include:
Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes, a bra with good support, and shoes designed for the type of exercise you do. Proper shoes are your best protection against injury. Also, be sure to exercise on a flat, level surface to prevent injury.
Those with medical conditions including asthma, heart disease, or diabetes may not be the best candidates for exercising while pregnant. Other conditions that might prevent you from exercising include:
Most women can perform low-impact exercise 1 to 2 weeks after a vaginal birth and 3 to 4 weeks after a cesarian birth. Don’t overdo it, about half of your normal floor exercise routine is plenty of activity. But remember, your doctor would be the best resource for how soon you can get back to your regular routine. Talk with your healthcare provider and follow their recommendations.