Being pregnant is a great time to stay active and strive to maintain your level of fitness. It benefits you and your baby, but before you go reach for those weights make sure you are exercising in a safe manner.
Pregnancy hormones cause ligaments and tendons to become looser which helps the body prepare for delivery but can also add to the possibility of injury during exercise. Any moves that involve bouncing, jumping or changing direction too quickly should be avoided. I know some women continue to run (as I did) while they are pregnant, but be sure to check with your doctor before you lace up the running shoes. For me running turned out to be a bad idea as I developed plantar fasciitis in both of my feet which I am still dealing with 7 years later. So please check with your doctor!
The most dangerous exercises to avoid (but are on all of the lists) seem pretty obvious but we’ll go ahead and list them anyway: scuba diving, horseback riding, downhill skiing, etc…. I know you already knew those we no-nos, but if you exercise outside at all just make sure the ground is not too uneven, rocky etc. This is especially true in the later months of pregnancy when our balance is all off from the growing belly.
There are some great exercise options out there that you can do during your pregnancy. Water aerobics is a great one b/c it really takes the pressure and weighted feeling of your growing belly away – such a relief! Walking, low impact aerobics and step classes are great as well. Weight training is still a good idea just don’t try to break any lifting record right now :). Lifting lighter weight and more reps is a wise idea during pregnancy. Prenatal yoga and Pilates are great ways to stay limber and strong and calm the mind as well.
Warning signs that you might be overdoing it include : vaginal bleeding, contractions, fluid leakage, unusual changes in heart rate or heart pounding and dizziness. Check with your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms!
Lastly, finding an pre natal exercise class of any kind is a great way to meet other expectant moms. There are so many questions, experiences and things to discuss it helps to know other women going through the same journey. So stay active and prepare your body for the big event!