Check with your doctor or midwife before starting an exercise program
If you don't have any specific obstetric or medical complications, you can continue to exercise and enjoy its benefits throughout pregnancy. Your exercise regime may have to be modified to match your different needs during pregnancy. If you were not active or exercised irregularly, you should check with your doctor or midwife before starting a new exercise program to ensure the activities are right for you.
Monitor your heart rate and exertion
While pregnant, you should monitor your heart rate. While there is no set limit to your to your heart rate, you should avoid excessive breathlessness, exhaustion.
Avoid exercising flat on your back after the first trimester
Besides being uncomfortable, this position can cause you dizziness. It places your uterus directly over your venus cava, a major vein returning your blood to your heart. Lying in this position can compromise the return of the blood to your heart and can cause you dizziness and nauseas.
Don't do crunches or sit-ups after the first trimester
Pregnancy is not the time to increase the tone of your abdominal muscles. However, it's a great time to maintain the tone that you have gained before you were pregnant.
Drink lots of water before, during and after the exercising
It's recommended drinking 2 glasses 2 hours before exercising. Drink small cup of water every 25-20 minutes during and then 2 more glasses after exercises.
Wear loose fitting, breathable, comfortable clothing and supportive bra
Avoid overheating by wearing layers of clothes that you can take off. Ensure that you have invested in a well fitted maternity bra.
Warning signs to stop exercising during pregnancy
If you experience any of the following signs before during and after workout seek advise from your midwife or doctor:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Shortness of breath before reaching your normal exertion limit
- chest pain
- amniotic fluid leakage
- difficulty in walking (may be due to calf pain where thrombophlebitis or swelling in the veins must be ruled out)
Enjoy your workout :-)
Exercising with the above recommendations in mind will help to protect against strain and injury, boots your circulations, keep your muscles toned and increase your own sense of well being.