Understanding Pregnancy Exercises

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Just like there are some rules and guidelines for any exercise program, there are also many for pregnancy exercises. These are not so much about proper form or the pace necessary but more about safety.

For instance, the top ten rules for pregnancy exercises would include:

1.Always check with your doctor before you begin any pregnancy exercises – It is only the physician who will know if your body is prepared for specific movements or stresses. You don’t ever want to jeopardize your health, or that of the baby, to keep your figure or avoid weight gain.

2.Eat more – Yes, we do exercise to stay in shape, and if we eat fewer calories than we burn we can lose weight. We might also maintain weight by eating a controlled amount of calories. The problem comes when we attempt to keep things the same during pregnancy. Things are not the same – you are growing a human inside of you – and that means you must take in more calories.

3.Be reasonable – Low impact and gentle pregnancy exercises – YES! Daring and dangerous activities such as skateboarding, weightlifting and surfing – NO! It is just silly to put yourself at risk when you are pregnant. You can get plenty of exercise walking, doing gentle yoga or playing some light sports.

4.Always warm up – Your joints and muscles change during pregnancy so warming up is imperative. Even if you are going for a walk or doing some bike riding you have to stretch to avoid strain or injury.

5.Hydrate – If you have always worked out and rarely hydrated before and during a routine, now is the time to begin making water a habit. You are going to need a lot of fluid and electrolytes to exercise while pregnant and drinking water helps to keep you safe.

6.Pay attention to temperatures – If you are dripping with sweat you are hot. If you are dripping with sweat while pregnant, you are asking for a problem. Try to remember that your body has methods for regulating heat, but it is not usually prepared to tackle such a demand during pregnancy – in other words, keep it cool.

7.Move slowly – Whether on the floor or standing upright, pregnancy can cause some pains that you don’t expect. It also alters the center of gravity and you may find yourself falling down easily. Just move slowly and you should be fine.

8.Don’t lay flat on your back after week 13 – By the end of the first trimester you cannot put pressure on the “vena cava” which is precisely what happens when lying flat – avoid this and lay on your side.

9.Cool down – You may just stop exercising and get back into a routine, but during pregnancy exercises you should always do a brief period of cooling down for safety.

10.Exercise – No matter how challenging your pregnancy might be, a bit of movement and exercise always helps improve conditions. Just speak with a physician for guidance about what is best.

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