The Performance Mentor
16 Tips for Exercising Safely When Pregnant
Title: 16 Tips for Exercising Safely When Pregnant
I worked throughout my whole pregnancy and the only effect it had on my life was I couldn’t go to the steam room anymore and by the end I could not see my toes. A new experience that I’m extremely glad left when I gave birth (how I love my toes).
Being a first time mom made me nervous in my first trimester, with everyone’s wise tales and of course the amazing Google who I thought was my personal Doctor being available 24/7 even on Christmas day.
I realised that I needed to step away from Google when I managed to self-diagnosed myself dead after I could’nt hear my own heart beat (let alone Bella’s) with a doppler, but was still blinking 20 minutes later. That’s when I decided to let go and figure it out by myself. Woman have been having babies for millions of years and the body is built to accommodate this amazing process so if they could do it so could I.
Here are a few tips that helped me when working and exercising during my pregnancy.
Remember my life rule “Take what you want, leave what you don’t”. You know what’s right for you, follow your own intuition and of course mid wife, Doctor etc. I’m no expert and can honestly say I learned the hard way, but should 1 of these tips help you, that is a blessing.
Consult your Doctor
Your Doctor knows everything about your health and will most likely give you advices about the right activities you can do to avoid any risk in your pregnancy.
Get enough nutrients needed to prepare your body for any activity. Doing exercise burns calories, so you should eat well to keep you and your baby healthy.
It’s very important to stay hydrated to overall health. It replenish lost fluids from exercise. To avoid dehydration, drink water before and after doing an activity. This also prevents your body from heating up fast and get exhausted.
Wear breathable and comfy clothes to avoid overheating. This also includes maternal bras for support and athletic shoes so you can easily move around.
Don’t do your activities in high heat or high humidity areas. The areas can get your bodies overheat so easily. As a result, you will easily get dehydrated, dizzy and other problems.
The right exercises
Extreme sports and other activities that have high risk to pregnancy are out. I was still jumping till the week before I gave birth and I was over my due date, but again you need to listen to YOUR body. Water and good music were very relaxing for me as my daughter was a gymnast in my belly, especially at night time.
Avoid contact sports and extreme sports
Anything consisting of extreme sports and contact is risky and not recommended, we need not to say anymore. Prevention is better than a cure and you don’t want the headspace of blame should something go wrong.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Your pelvic muscles take most of the pressure during pregnancy. You need to keep working those muscles as these help support the uterus, bladder and bowel control. Doing this exercise everyday also helps keep your back area strong.
A 10-15 minutes to warm up is important. To avoid risk, prepare your body for any activities. Jumping into action may lead to risk of injuries.
Stay in motion
Keep up the pace. Let your blood circulate properly from your heart to the uterus and extremities. This helps lowering your blood pressure for the activities and thus keep you from getting dizzy. You can just walk in place.
Take it easy
If you get exhausted easily then you should slow it down or keep the weight light. Overdoing it may cause problems that includes sudden movements. So take it easy.
Monitor your body
When the Doctor is not around, it's your duty to assess yourself when doing activities. Listen to what your body and baby tells you. If your body had enough then stop!
Cooling down takes 5-10 minutes of a low intensity exercise followed by stretching. Bring your heart rate and body temperature to normal by steady deep breathing. You can even just close your eyes and try to let go of all thoughts.
Maintain the habit
The best way to make it to your personal goals is to commit. Keep your routine everyday with your Doctor’s guidance.
Make each activity fun and healthy. Doing activities with a friend helps you stay motivated or use an app if your alone.
Take 20-25 minutes of naps. This will help you and your body recover from the activity of the day and replenish your lost energy.