Now, I’m sure you've heard of or even thought yourself some of the “Pregnancy Myths”: You can’t workout while pregnant; It can be harmful to the baby; Exercise will be painful; I'm too tired/nauseous/busy; I’m going to gain weight anyways, why bother?....
According to ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), women with normal pregnancies should get 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise everyday, including the (3) components to fitness: cardiovascular exercise, light strength/resistance training and stretching. I will discuss in more detail these (3) components and how to incorporate them into a prenatal fitness routine. Most women that regularly exercised before their pregnancy can continue their normal routine with some modifications. Women that have not exercised regularly should start as soon as possible with their doctor/midwife's permission. Remember to start slow and easy, such as light walking and stretching and try to sign up for a Prenatal class.
Whether you are a first-time exercisers OR have always been active, remember – you are now Pregnant!! Always remember to start out slow and listen to your body along the way. If you experience any feelings of discomfort or pain, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitations, contractions, vaginal bleeding or anything else NOT normal, you should stop immediately and contact your doctor/midwife. Remember to drink plenty of water before (to prevent dehydration), during and after your workout (to replace the fluids you lost). Do not workout in extreme hot or cold weather. Always begin with 5-10 minutes of a warm-up and end with 5-10 minutes of a cool down.
Exercising during the trimesters:
- First Trimester can come with fatigue and nausea. Heavy exercise might not be desirable. If you can get outside for a short walk, it can boost you energy and the fresh air will diminish nausea.
- Second and most of Third Trimester can come with a burst of energy. Increased blood volume in your body will boost your VO2 (the volume of oxygen in your blood). Some cardiovascular exercises you normally would find difficult might seem easier now. Make sure your heart rate does not exceed 70% max heart rate. (I will teach you how to easily do this!)
- The Third Trimester will come with an overall feeling of excitement, anxiousness, fatigue at some times and bursts of energy in preparation of the baby. Exercise can help you burn off some nervous energy, clear your mind and boost your mood.
Regular exercise can: Help increase stamina...Help you sleep better...May prevent or treat gestational diabetes...Improve your mood...It can help reduce backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling...Proper exercise form can help stretch out tight muscles and strengthen weak ones, helping you prevent back and pelvic pain...Although nothing is guaranteed, many women that regularly exercise have an easier labor and delivery, are less likely to need a C-section and have a shorter recovery postpartum...Most women that exercise throughout their pregnancy maintain a healthy prenatal weight and get back to their pre-baby weight faster.
What’s in it for baby? Many researchers theorize that changes in heart rate and oxygen levels in exercising moms-to-be stimulate the baby. They also think that babies that are born to active moms are more fit, born at healthier weights, smarter, better self-soothers and less risk for diabetes in the future. Plus, these babies have a strong, centered mama ready to take care of them!