Exercising Safely during Pregnancy
on 27th December 2012 |Almost everybody knows that exercise is important for a healthy life, and it can also be said that exercise is important for a healthy pregnancy. Not only will you feel lighter with a regular exercise regime, the greater benefit is that you will be better prepared for childbirth. However, it should be noted that you should exercise with greater caution because you are carrying another life in your body, and some exercises can be dangerous for you and your baby. Here are some tips to help you exercise safely during pregnancy. |
Consult Your Healthcare Provider
Before you draw up an exercise routine, you should first consult your healthcare provider. Every woman's body is different and a lot is also dependent on your level of fitness. For women who have been exercising on a regular basis before they became pregnant, they should be able to adapt a tougher routine than women who have not done much exercise. Anyway, the right thing to do is to talk to your healthcare provider to get an idea on the best exercise regime.
When you exercise, you are burning the calories. Now that you are pregnant, it makes sense that you should eat well so that your body can be strengthened and well-nourished. As your baby grows, it's natural that you will also gain weight. To find out how much weight you have to gain, you will have to take a look at your weight before conceiving. For people with BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9, a general guide is to eat at least an extra 300 calories per day more and you will need more if you have a regular exercise regime.
No Dangerous Sports
For obvious reasons, you should not engage in dangerous sports. What are some of these dangerous sports? Contact sports, mountain biking, softball, downhill skiing, and horseback riding should be avoided. In the early days of your pregnancy, you may be able to ride a bicycle but you should really use a stationary bicycle in the later stages of your pregnancy. Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that pregnant women are more susceptible to injury from fall and sprains.
What are the best clothes to wear for exercise? Generally, you should wear breathable, loose-fitting clothing. It's a good idea to dress in layers. This way, you can easily take off a layer if you are feeling too hot or after warm up. As for athletic shoes, make sure you select a pair that offers good traction and support. Other than shoes, you will also need to wear a comfortable well-fitting maternity bra.
Everybody who exercises regularly will tell you the importance of warming up before you go into the exercises proper. It builds up your heart rate slowly and prepares your joints and muscles for exercise. When you ignore the warm up and go straight into strenuous exercise, you may suffer ligament or muscle strains, which may bring about pains and aches after the workout.
Plenty of Water
To prevent dehydration, you should drink water before you begin your exercise routine, during your exercise routine, and after. If you suffer from dehydration, your body temperature may rise and you may suffer from contractions, which can be dangerous. As to the required amount of water, it depends on the duration of exercise and the weather. Generally, a cup of water is sufficient for each time you need to drink. For every 20 minutes of exercise, you should drink a cup of water.
If you are doing yoga poses or lifting weights, it's advisable that you keep moving. When you stay in one position for an extended period of time, you may feel dizzy because the blood flow to the uterus may be decreased, causing the blood to stay in your legs. Try to walk in place or switch positions to keep moving.
Always remember that your body is undergoing changes and you are not invincible as before. If you have on a punishing exercise regime where you push your body to its limits, you should know that you cannot do that now. When you cannot carry a conversation on a comfortable level, it means that you should slow down. If you feel some pain, you should stop exercising immediately.
Your baby's major organs are still developing in the first trimester. During this time, it can be dangerous for your baby when you get yourself too hot. As a rule, you should not raise your core temperature to more than 38 degrees Celsius for more than 10 minutes. When you are pregnant, you are experiencing higher metabolic rate and increased blood flow. This means that your body is hotter than usual, and when you exercise, your body temperature will also increase. Though your belly is not yet big, you may get overheated in much less time so you should always be careful when you are exercising. If you are feeling short of breath, dizzy, nauseated, uncomfortably warm, or you are sweating too much, you should cease exercising at once. Try to change your environment or take off some clothing. Drink lots of water or take a cool shower.
To stay healthy, you should make time to execute your exercise routine on a regular basis. It's better to exercise regularly than to exercise in spurts, followed by long periods of inactivity. With regular exercise, your body will be in a constant, fit state. If you are working, it may be harder to maintain a regular exercise routine but you should make time to make it a habit because it can be highly beneficial for you and your baby. For a general guide, you should be able to work out about 30 minutes a day or more, moderately. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if your exercise routine is suitable at every stage of your pregnancy. As you get nearer to the due date, your movement is more restricted so you may have to alter your routine.
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