Your baby bump is BOOMING, but that shouldn’t stop you from hitting the gym and kicking your butt into shape.
There’s not much you can do at this point about your ever-expanding tummy. But that doesn’t mean you should lose control of the whole damn vessel. In fact, exercising during your pregnancy is not only healthy, it’s necessary…
The Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
Here’s a general rule of thumb: If you worked out before you were pregnant, then working out while you’re pregnant shouldn’t be an issue. Actually, staying in shape while you’re pregnant will help you get back that bad-ass bod you had before your bump started showing.
Working out while you’re pregnant also helps with the labour and the delivery process. Women who work out usually cope better with giving birth, and recover faster. Staying active will also reduce things like back-pain, a common problem during pregnancy.
Back in the day, doctors used to discourage breaking a sweat during pregnancy, thinking that exercising while pregnant would up the chances of miscarriage. Thankfully, that nonsense has been disproved now. Studies have shown that inactivity during pregnancy can actually make you prone to excessive weight gain, up the chances of needing a C-section, and put you at risk of high-blood pressure and gestational diabetes.
Guidelines to Exercising While You’re Pregnant
- Above all else: Listen to your body, because it knows best. So, if the Doctor says you can handle twenty sit-ups a day, but your body starts to say NO at number ten… then stop at ten!
- Never exercise to the point of complete exhaustion. This might be a little too much for your body to handle. Remember – you’re breathing for two!
- Wear comfortable exercise clothes. Loose fitting clothes are going to feel better on that belly, and some extra-padded shoes for those swollen feet will feel oh-so good!
- Take breaks frequently and always remember to rehydrate. Although your body can deal with a lot, try not to get too extreme with your workout routine.
- Include warm-ups and cool-downs, with plenty of stretching to release any tension that’s built up in your muscles during the workout.
- Eat a healthy diet! There is no need to overeat while you’re pregnant, but do make sure you’re eating enough fruit and vegetables for your baby to get the necessary nutrition.
Exercise: Yes! But Which One?
Good old cardio! Whether you love it, hate it, or love it AND hate it… it sure is good for you. Low impact cardio is great while you’re pregnant.
And what’s easier than walking? It’s an easy way to get the blood flowing without over-stressing your body. The best part is, it can be done ANYWHERE! Whoop!
You know what else is great while you’re pregnant, and dare I say, rare? Feeling light as a feather! Swimming is a great way to do this. Giving some much needed relief to your poor joints and taking the weight off your swollen feet. If you’d like to mix up your water routine, take an aquanatal class.
What’s good for your soul and for your soles? Dancing! If you can handle it, it’s a great way to get moving, and it’ll improve your mood too. Just remember to listen to your body. Don’t go twerking out of control.
Running! Now I don’t know about you, but running makes my feet swell even when I’m not preggos. If your a veteran runner, you’ll know what your body can handle, so don’t hang up those running shoes just because you’re expecting. If you’re a newbie to running, take it easy, see how it feels, and only go as far as you think your body can handle.
If you’re looking for a workout that’s a bit less intense, how about taking up prenatal yoga? It’s free, it’s fun, and you’ll strengthen your body in all the right places.
Just remember: What you do is less important than the fact that you do something. Be sure to keep moving until the day you deliver your bouncing baby boy (or girl)!