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10 Top Exercise Tips for Pregnant Women

Updated on October 30, 2012

 Many smart women get overwhelmed after they get pregnant. They’re used to living their lives a certain way and suddenly they question everything that they do. For example, a woman who has always done regular exercise may seriously start to question whether or not that fitness routine is safe for the baby. Luckily, there are some basic tips that you can follow when exercising as a pregnant woman. Let’s clear up the confusion:

1.     Your doctor knows best. The very first thing that you want to do is to discuss this issue with your doctor. Your doctor is going to have the most information about your personal health issues and any risks that you and your baby face in the months to come. You should get specific information about your doctor’s recommendations for you personally when it comes to exercising while pregnant. Doctors are used to fielding these questions so don’t hesitate to call and ask if a specific fitness question comes up.

2.     Your body also knows. Although your doctor can provide you with a wealth of great information about exercising when you are pregnant, you don’t want to neglect what your own body is telling you. Your body really does know what it can and can’t handle in terms of exercise. Tune in to your body during this time. If you’re doing a form of exercise that your doctor said was fine to do but it is at all painful or just doesn’t feel right then trust your body and stop doing it.

3.     Stick to a regular routine. It’s definitely healthy to exercise while you are pregnant. As much as possible, you want to stick to a regular routine. This helps to maintain the rhythms of your body. Starting and stopping exercise throughout a pregnancy is much harder on the body than simply maintaining a routine throughout your pregnancy. Of course, you will need to adapt your exercise routine as your body gets bigger with the baby but setting and sticking to a workout schedule is a smart choice.

4.     Focus on sports that are generally not considered dangerous. There are some sports that we all know tend to have high risks. These sports and activities should be avoided when you are pregnant. Extreme sports are out of the question. Any sport where you are highly likely to fall should be postponed until after the baby is born. Contact sports where you are likely to get hit should be avoided. Use common sense here; if the activity that you like doing is something that can generally harm your body then it is not something that you want to do while you are pregnant. Low-impact, low-risk, non-contact sports are what you want to do while pregnant.

5.     Go slowly. You can probably still continue to do many of the forms of exercise that you already enjoy. However, you want to take it more slowly than usual. When transitioning between activities, go slowly. When performing different routines, go more slowly than you usually do. Slowing down will make all of your actions more fluid and safer for your body. Slowing down will also help you with the process of tuning in to your body so that you can immediately sense if something is wrong.

6.     Warm up and cool down. We all know that we are supposed to warm up and cool down every single time that we exercise. We also know that a lot of busy women tend to skip or skimp on this part of the workout. During pregnancy, it’s particularly important to warm up and cool down. This is part of the whole issue of going slowly, tuning in to your body and acting consciously during exercise. Make sure to pay attention to this part of your exercise routine.

7.     Stay cool. Paying attention to the temperature when you exercise is a smart thing for pregnant women. You want to make sure that you don’t overheat your body. This can lead to exhaustion and problems with your body. Make sure that you wear breathable clothing that will prevent overheating. Pay attention to the temperature in the room or outside when you are working out. If you start to feel too hot, do your cool down exercises and rest until another time.

8.     Learn about the right positions for your body when exercising. For example, women who are pregnant do not want to lie on their stomachs nor do they want to lie flat on their backs without support. These are important things to know when you are exercising, especially if you are doing any form of on-the-floor exercise. Also be aware of the fact that it’s best for pregnant women to keep moving (albeit slowly) rather than remaining in positions for a long period of time.

9.     Tone it down when you get further along in the pregnancy. Be aware of the fact that you are probably going to need to reduce the amount of exercise that you do as the baby’s due date gets closer. This is due to your own physical limitations as well as the increased risk for pre-term labor among highly active women. Keep in touch with your doctor about this and listen to your body to make sure that you tone it down as needed.

10. Work with professionals who understand pregnancy exercise. It’s always good if you can do your exercise routine with someone who understands how to adapt it for pregnancy. A personal trainer experienced in working with pregnant women is a great asset during this time. A pre-natal class (such as a yoga class for pregnant woman) is another great option. The more knowledgeable people you have helping you with pregnancy exercise, the better.

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