pregnancy, exercising

The Dos and Don’ts Of Exercising In Pregnancy

Exercising during pregnancy is beneficial for you in so many ways. However, before starting or continuing with an exercise program there are some guidelines which you must follow to keep yourself and your baby safe.

Your doctor may advise you not to exercise if:

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  1. You have persistent vaginal bleeding. If you’ve had a premature baby, pregnancy bleeding, miscarriage in an earlier pregnancy or risk of it in this pregnancy.
  2.  Severely anemic, that is you have very low iron levels in your blood.
  3.  Baby is small for dates during this pregnancy.
  4.  High blood pressure that can’t be controlled with medication or poorly controlled diabetes.
  5.  Overweight or underweight before getting pregnant.
  6.  Have other health problems like joint or muscle problems, heart or lung problems.
  7.  You are expecting twins.
  8.  Have a low-lying placenta after you are 26 weeks pregnant.
  9.  Have cervical weakness.

Precautions that need to be taken:

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  1. Avoid high impact exercises such as jumping, hopping, skipping or bouncing.
  2. Cycling can be safe till the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. Cycling on a sedentary cycle in the gym is OK.

  3. Exercise on a flat, even surface at all times. Avoid any jarring motions, sudden turns or twisting at the waist. Lawn tennis is to be avoided for this very reason.

  4. Wear proper exercise clothing so that you do not slip or trip up while exercising. A supportive bra is a must. Your shoes should also be well fitting and suitable for the exercises that you plan to do.
  5. Do not exercise outside in hot, humid weather as your body tends to heat up more in pregnancy.  Signs that you are overheated are excessive sweating, panting for breath, nausea or dizziness. Move immediately to cool environs if you heat up, take a cold shower and drink up lots of water.
  6. Finish eating at least one hour prior to exercising. Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Dark yellow urine is a sign of dehydration. Have one or two glasses of water every hour until your urine is pale yellow or nearly clear.

  7. Do some simple warm up exercises before starting. Warming up prepares your muscles and joints for exercise and increases your heart rate slowly. If you start heavy exercise before your body is ready, you could strain your muscles and ligaments and have more aches and pains after your workout. Get into it slowly over a period of 8 to 10 minutes.

  8. Avoid any exercises that would have you lie flat on your back, say when you are doing yoga or aerobic exercises. This can make you dizzy, short of breath, or nauseated. Propping up your upper body with pillows or cushions could help you to perform those exercises safely.
  9. Do listen to what your body tells you. If you feel tired or dizzy stop. Don’t push your limits. In simple terms don’t overdo it. You should feel fresh after your workout not drained out.

  10. Get up slowly from the floor to avoid dizziness after you finish. Remember your center of gravity has shifted so you need to be more careful when you get back up. You do not want to fall.

  11. Cool your body down by walking in place for 5 minutes or doing some stretching. This will prevent achy muscles. Rest for some time quietly before getting on with your day. Do not use the sauna or take hot baths after your exercise.

  12. Eat well. Your body will be burning calories as you exercise so you must take a proper nutritious diet to benefit both you and the baby. You will need an extra 300 calories at the very least.

Watch out:

You will need to stop exercising immediately if you experience any pain, including abdominal, chest, or pelvic pain.
Have muscle cramps, feel faint, dizzy, or nauseous.
Feel cold or clammy, have vaginal bleeding, have a sudden gush of fluid from the vagina or a trickle of fluid that leaks steadily.
Have an irregular or rapid heartbeat, notice sudden swelling in the ankles, hands, face, or all of them. Experience increased shortness of breath, have persistent contractions that continue after rest or have difficulty walking.
Consult your doctor as soon as possible for your symptoms.
Stay updated on women’s health and ask a gynecologist online, of your choice, download LAIMA.

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