While regular exercises during pregnancy can be of help in preparing you physically and mentally for childbirth, there are certain restrictions you will need to consider before exercising. In addition to being cautious while working out, you will also need to follow certain rules for the sake of your as well as your baby’s safety during and after your workout sessions.
Have a talk with your doctor first
It is imperative for you to talk to your doctor before commencing your workout sessions. Your doctor will be the best person to advise you regarding modifications or continuation of your existing workout routine. If the doctor considers that exercising will put both you and your baby at risk, it is best considered to stop exercising until childbirth.
Watch the calories that you eat
You will need to eat the right foods as well as the right amounts of foods to stay healthy during pregnancy. Working out can burn calories, so you will need to eat a bit extra to replenish the lost calories. For instance, you will need to consume at least 340 more calories in your second trimester than you usually do. Calculate your body mass index (BMI) and discuss with a nutritionist about what should be your daily calorie intake.
Stay away from rigorous exercises
If you had worked out regularly before pregnancy, you may think your body will be able to handle the strain. In sharp contrast, pregnancy makes your body weak. Hence, doing strenuous exercises can harm your body as well as the health of your baby. Stick to easy workouts that don’t place much strain on the body. For instance, you can opt for small pool workouts that can offer the necessary exercise to your shoulders, arms, upper/lower legs, back, buttocks, hips and calves.
Do a warm up before starting to exercise
Warming up is considered very important before exercising as it will help relax your joints and muscles and prepare them for the workout. Skipping the warm up and directly starting the exercise might place strain on your muscles, joints and ligaments, causing you more pains during and after the workout.
Ensure to drink lots of water
Exercising can dehydrate your body. Dehydration can, in turn, reduce the amount of water that reaches the placenta. It also increases the risks of overheating and contractions. Hence it is considered wise to drink lots of water before, during and after exercising. Keep checking the color of your urine regularly. It needs to be nearly clear or a pale yellow. If it starts turning dark yellow, start drinking water until the pale color returns.
Keep changing your routine
When you keep on following the same exercise routine, your body may become stiff and experience reduced blood flow to the heart and fetus. Worse yet, exercises which require you to stand for long periods of time cause water and blood to pool into your legs. This, in turn, reduces your blood pressure levels and also causes conditions like water retention. It is therefore, considered wise to switch positions as well as your exercise routines regularly to avoid these issues.
Avoid exercising when it is too hot or humid
In addition to causing severe dehydration, exercising in high humidity or heat can cause a sudden spike in metabolic levels, causing the body to overheat drastically in the process. This, in turn, makes it harder for your body to regulate your body temperature accordingly. When this happens, conditions like excessive sweating, discomfort, nausea, dizziness and breathlessness are sure to follow next. So if it is extremely hot or humid outside, skip your workout routine that day.
Cool down after workouts
It is necessary for you to cool down your body after every workout session. Your internal body heat will be high owing to your pregnancy. Hence, after working out, make it a point to walk for about 10 minutes. Do some stretches as well to loosen your muscles and improve your flexibility. This will help your body cool down efficiently.
Exercising during pregnancy is not considered a taboo! However, there are certain restrictions you need to consider as well as certain rules you will need to follow when working out during your pregnancy period.