Today our guest blogger is Shishir Rao, and she will address some of the precautions of exercising during pregnancy. After having exercised during both of my pregnancies, I can attest to its benefits. Although pregnancy does not mean it is time to take a 9 month rest, there are a few precautions you must consider before continuing your routine during pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a tough time in many ways, and developing a good exercise routine that takes into account all factors and safety requirements is one of those problem areas. At the same time, proper exercise is also a necessity during pregnancy and cannot be ignored. So how can this fine balance be achieved and maintained in such a way so as to benefit both the mother and the unborn child? Overtime, experts have narrowed down aspects that can ensure safety while still giving you the required workout (inclusive of stress fighting), besides also preparing you for the trying child birth period that is fast approaching. A look then, at what the perfect balance is:
Get the right nutrition
- Ø It goes without saying that your calorie requirement will increase during pregnancy. This increase is based on many factors such as your Body Mass Index (BMI) and the stage of your pregnancy. When factoring in the extra energy required for work outs, you will have to consult with your doctor as to how much extra nutrition you need, which in turn will be based on if you worked out regularly before the pregnancy.
- Ø While the doctor will guide you about your nutritional requirements based on all the above factors, remember that the calories you consume should not be in the form of empty calories like simple sugars that have very little use in the long run. Consume foods that are rich in nutrients like complex carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and fibers, take supplements where necessary.
- Ø At the same time, remember to drink enough water to ensure that you don’t get dehydrated while working out and so that your body temperature is maintained to the optimum. Remember that sudden large fluctuations in temperature can be harmful for you as well as your baby.
Know your limitations
- Ø During a pregnancy, you need to stay away from certain exercises that include lifting heavy weights and intense muscle activity. You obviously cannot participate in sports that are dangerous, these include mountain biking, horse ridding and other strenuous competitive sports like football or rugby.
- Ø Even while working out, keep in mind that you do not overexert yourself, never exercise till you’re exhausted and stop as soon as you feel yourself to be uncomfortable. Also keep a check on your body temperature, anything exceeding 102 degrees is considered unsafe for the baby, since it may interfere with its organ development. Stay well hydrated at all times, and ensure that you aren’t exercising in a hot environment. Stop if you find yourself uncomfortably warm or sweating too much.
- Ø Remember to avoid lying down flat on your back, not just while exercising, but at other times too. This is necessary since lying on your back may pressurize the vena cava and reduce blood flow to crucial organs. If you must lie flat, do it in such a way that your back is arched, typically by placing a cushion under your hips.
Take your time and go slow, but go steady
- Ø While exercising during pregnancy, take your time to warm up. Bear in mind that the joints and ligaments of the body have increased sensitivity during a pregnancy and they are more prone to sprains and injuries. It is a myth that only the ligaments around the pelvis are loosened during this period; the fact is that it holds true for all joints and ligaments in the body. Thus, it is of paramount importance that you take your time warming up with stretches and other slow movements before you jump into any physical activity.
- Ø The same rule applies once you finish your routine as well; don’t bring your body to a complete stop all of a sudden. Slowly lower the rate of activity so that your heart and body cool down gradually. Walk for a while before you head for the shower; remember to stretch after completing your exercises as well, as this will avoid unnecessary muscular and joint strains.
- Ø Another thing that needs to be mentioned here is that the body’s center of gravity shifts as the baby grows in the belly, so don’t get up suddenly or make other jerky movements that may throw you off balance. At the same time, don’t stand steady in one place too long either once your body is warmed up, since that will lead to the blood pumping rapidly without being utilized effectively, which will prove detrimental to your overall wellbeing.
Dress right to round it off
- Ø It’s a cliché, but not in the sense of dressing correctly for a job interview. Make sure that you wear light airy clothes that allow for good air circulation and don’t inhibit your movements in anyway. Remember that your shoes should be a perfect fit, while the rest of your attire should be one size larger.
Use this knowledge to the best of your advantage for a successful pregnancy, which will keep both you and the baby healthy and happy.
Author Bio: Shishir Rao is a web writer who writes on a variety of topics ranging from health to technology. He uses the web as his preferred tool of information dissemination owing to its reach and easy to confirm credibility.