There are many reasons why staying active is important during pregnancy. Exercise can help you feel better physically and emotionally, and it can also help prepare your body for labor and delivery. Here are 10 tips to help you stay active during pregnancy.
Gradually increase your activity level
It’s important to get regular exercise during pregnancy, and the earlier in your pregnancy, the better. Start slowly and gradually increase your activity level as you feel comfortable. By the end of your first trimester, you should aim to include at least 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most or all days of the week.
During pregnancy, it’s especially important to avoid activities that can cause injury or put you at risk for loss of balance and falls. In addition, some exercises are more helpful than others in preparing your body for labor and delivery.
Find an activity you enjoy
There are many different types of exercise that are safe during pregnancy, so find one that you enjoy and stick with it. Walking, swimming, prenatal yoga, and light weightlifting are all good options.
You may need to modify your exercise routine as you move through different trimesters. For example, you’ll probably need to reduce the intensity of your workout in the third trimester, but try to maintain an active lifestyle until at least 36 weeks .
Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is important for everyone, but it’s especially important during pregnancy. Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise. Gradually as your pregnancy progresses as well as staying hydrated is important as well as the intensity of the exercise you choose.
Avoid activities that involve strenuous exertion on hot days or in hot environments. If you’re exercising at home, reduce the temperature in your house by turning up the air conditioner or opening a window.
To prevent overheating, dress for your activity in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothing. Avoid getting overheated by exercising inside during the early morning or late evening hours .
Listen to your body
Stop exercising if you feel dizzy, faint, short of breath, or any other unusual symptom that concerns you. Pregnancy puts extra stress on the body, so it’s important to take good care of yourself and stop exercising immediately if something doesn’t feel right. If your water breaks, call your healthcare provider right away.
Wear comfortable clothing
Dress for comfort, especially in the waist-area. A supportive sports bra is a must! Also avoid clothes that are too loose or tight as they can get in the way of circulation. Maternity slacks with an elastic waistband tend to work well.
Use appropriate footwear
It’s important to support your arches during pregnancy, so break out those sneakers or walking shoes! You may also want to invest in a pair of good maternity support hose.
Keep your heart rate moderate
To reduce your risk of complications, aim for an exercise intensity level that keeps your heart rate between 140 and 160 beats per minute. A general rule of thumb is that you should be able to talk but not sing during exercise.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. You can break it up into 10- or 15-minute sessions if that’s easier for you to manage. Don’t forget about your other daily activities, though! Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking a little farther away from your destination, and getting up every 30 minutes to walk around.
Visit your consultant before new exercise plan
Check with your doctor or midwife before starting any new exercise routine during pregnancy. Your health care provider may give you specific guidelines as to the type of exercise that is safe for you and at what stage in your pregnancy it should be started.