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How can I be active during pregnancy?

Pregnant women should be able to continue most of their usual physical activities during pregnancy. However, there are a few precautions that should be taken. First of all, check with your doctor if you have any medical conditions during pregnancy and whether it is advised that you avoid certain activities. Secondly, avoid the supine (on your back) position after the first trimester. Thirdly, make sure that you are well-hydrated and avoid overheating during exercise. Finally, avoid any activities that may risk injury through contact or falls such as high impact sports, horseriding, and skiing. The most important thing regarding activity during pregnancy is to listen to your body. Some days you may feel more energetic and other days you may just need rest and it is important to tailor your workouts to how you are feeling.

Low-moderate intensity aerobic exercise, 40-50% of peak capacity, should be performed 3-5 days per week. Try doing non-weight-bearing exercises like swimming or cycling. The treadmill and elliptical are also appropriate. Avoid supine exercise after the first trimester; focus on balance and flexibility.

Sadie Lincoln
Sadie Lincoln on behalf of barre3
Fitness

Pregnancy is an important time to listen to your body and really hear what it is telling you. Motherly instincts definitely kick in before giving birth, and it is smart to approach physical activity when pregnant with caution. This being said, staying active while pregnant has several wonderful benefits that last through labor and beyond. In our barre3 classes we welcome pregnant clients; with some slight modifications our entire class can be suitable for expectant women. We also encourage our clients to take prenatal yoga classes, which can be great preparation for child birth, and also a wonderful way to connect with other pregnant women. 

Walking can be one of the best ways to stay active during your pregnancy. Even a couple of loops around your can block help with circulation and endurance, and the fresh air is good for you and the baby!

 

It is very beneficial to be physically active during pregnancy. Women may experience a healthier weight gain, easier pregnancy, and easier labor/delivery. If you were exercising prior to becoming pregnant, you can usually continue those same activities. Check with your doctor to be sure there are no restrictions.  If you are weight training, there is usually a recommendation of not lifting anything heavier than 20lbs above your waist.   You will also want to keep your core temperature down.

If you were not active prior to becoming pregnant, this is a great time to begin a walking program.  Mall walking works well for most people who live in an area with inclement weather.

If you have been physically active before, you can continue during pregnancy. If you were not active before, now is a great time to start a daily walking or swimming program. Very few types of exercise are off-limits during pregnancy. You may find that as your pregnancy progresses, you need to cut back on the intensity of your exercise routine. Let your body guide you.

You do not have to run a marathon every week to reap the health benefits of exercise. Getting 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days is a good goal. The best exercise is exercise that you enjoy and that you can do regularly. Think about what will fit with your life. For many women, walking is a great activity. It is free and it can be done in safe neighborhoods and malls. In order to get the most benefit, you have to walk pretty fast and swing your arms. Try to include walking in your regular routine.

For many women, walking is a great activity. It is free and it can be done in safe neighborhoods and malls. In order to get the most benefit, you have to walk pretty fast and swing your arms. Try to include walking in your regular routine.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth

More About this Book

Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth

ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED TO MAKE WISE DECISIONS ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY AND THE BIRTH OF YOUR CHILD -- FROM THE EDITORS OF THE CLASSIC "BIBLE OF WOMEN'S HEALTH" Pregnancy and birth are as ordinary...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.