Pregnancy can be a stressful time for expectant mothers, especially those that are going through it for the first time. You’ll start to rethink everything you do in life, from the food you eat and the amount of time you spend sleeping to the dye you use on your hair and the nail polish on your fingers. Are you harming your baby with everything you do? In truth, there are certain things you should probably avoid during pregnancy, but for the most part you can continue to live your life normally, at least to a degree. And exercising is no exception. You’ll have to tailor your routines to account for the baby on board, but you can definitely continue to pursue physical fitness while you’re pregnant. Here are a few tips to get you on track for a healthy and happy pregnancy.
- Talk to your doctor. This is the best place to start when you’re interested in remaining fit and active while pregnant. Your doctor will apprise you of the risks involved with certain types of exercise and give you advice pertaining to suitable activities. You’re probably understandably concerned about how physical activities could affect your baby, and more importantly, your ability to carry to term. Your doctor can assuage these fears and help you to find a happy medium when it comes to appropriate exercise.
- Keep it low-impact. The most important guideline to observe when exercising during pregnancy is low-impact activity. If you love plyometrics, you might just have to put such routines on hold for a few months. You may be able to continue jogging, at least for a while, but you’ll find, at some point, that you are encumbered by weight gain. And the truth is that there are plenty of low-impact exercise options that can deliver the same level of fitness without the potential for harm.
- Look for pregnancy classes. If you’re not quite sure how to proceed with exercise as your pregnancy progresses, look into fitness classes specifically designed for pregnant women. You shouldn’t have too much trouble finding classes for pregnancy aerobics, dancing, and yoga, as well as classes for advanced pregnancy that take place in water to help relieve the stresses on your body while giving you some added resistance.
- Incorporate stretching. Adding yoga or another form of stretching to your fitness routine can offer several benefits during pregnancy. For one thing, staying loose and limber can alleviate the stresses on your joints and help to increase circulation, reducing the swelling that may plague you. But the right stretching (i.e. pregnancy yoga) can also prepare your body for the rigors of labor and delivery.
- Make friends. It’s not always fun to exercise on your own, so if you’re just starting out with pregnancy fitness and you can no longer undertake the exercises you enjoyed with your non-pregnant friends, start at a new gym like Orangetheory Fitness that has options for pregnant women and get to know some of the other members. This way you can build a network of female friends that are in the family way to work out with during the course of your pregnancy, making for more fun for everyone.