Exercise During Pregnancy - Do’s and Don’ts
Back in the day pregnant women were considered too fragile to do anything even slightly strenuous. Many people had the misconception that a fairly sedentary lifestyle was the best way to go through pregnancy to ensure the health and safety of mom and baby. It is now common knowledge that exercise is highly beneficial for pregnant women. Thirty (30) minutes of exercise daily is a great way to stay fit and energized during a time in your life when much is expected of your body. Be sure to sneak in a nap or two as well. Snuggling up with a maternity body pillow will definitely speed up your exercise recovery.
Before you eagerly run to your nearest gym to sign up, let’s look at a few basic “ do’s and don’ts” when it comes to exercise during pregnancy.
• Do start exercising even before you are pregnant. The sooner you start the better! If you have already missed the bus, no worries. It is never too late to start. Just be sure to get the ok from your doctor before you get started on that new exercise program
• Do start slow! This especially applies to mom’s who didn’t exercise before their pregnancy. It is a good idea to give your body ample time to adjust to your new way of life. If you start off with too much of a bang you might also be put off and never set foot in the gym again. If you already are a familiar face at your local gym, you can keep doing what you have been doing. You might just need to make a few slight adjustments to your exercise program
• Do make it count. You don’t want to go all the way to the gym just to walk on the treadmill for ten minutes. If you don’t do enough your efforts won’t be worthwhile at the end of the day. Aim for a workout of about forty (40) minutes. This can include the process of warming up and cooling down at the end
• Do exercise consistently. It often happens that the inspiration you initially had to stay fit during pregnancy only lasts for a few weeks. Rather aim to exercise twice or three times a week instead of going for five days one week and then forgetting about it for the next few weeks. Consistent exercise is better than too much or none at all
• Do stay hydrated. To give you an idea, you should drink at least one full glass of water for every thirty minutes of exercise. It is important that you replace fluids that have been lost along the way.
• Don’t exercise on an empty stomach. You need to make sure you have some energy to work with. Try eating a banana, some raisins, or any other high energy snack thirty minutes before your workout
• Don’t overdo it. Pregnancy is a time for you to listen to what your body is telling you and this especially applies in the area of exercise. You will know when your body has had enough. Remember that you will reach this point sooner in your 2nd and 3rd trimesters since your body is taking a lot more strain while carrying your little one around. You should aim to stop exercising before you reach the point of exhaustion. If you feel energized after your workout it is a good sign that you have not overdone it
• Don’t forget to stretch. Your joints loosen up a bit during pregnancy so best to stretch to avoid getting hurt during your workout.
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