Working Out During Pregnancy

Working out during pregnancy. Yes or no? 

Isn’t just great for you- it will help your baby stay healthy too! As long as you are cleared by your doctor, regardless of your fitness level- you should exercise!

Regular exercise can help reduce lower back pain, promote healthy weight gain and reduce the risk of gestational diabetes. 

Research in the Physical Activity and Health shows that women who did moderate intensity resistance training plus aerobic exercise about 3 times a week had lower rates of pregnancy related hypertension and diabetes compared to those who didn’t. Just don’t hold your breath or hoist a load to a point of straining, both of which can create extra pressure in the abdominal area and pelvic floor.

Monitoring heart rate to measure intensity is not going to work due to all changes pregnancy creates throughout your cardiovascular system. 

Use talk test instead, if it takes you more than a minute to catch up your breath and hold a normal conversation- you are probably working out too hard. 

What to avoid? 

In your first trimester very few changes need to be made, but starting from second trimester you should avoid: 

– crunches, since they will add more outward pressure to your growing belly. 

– Avoid laying down on your back for too long, especially in third trimester unless you use a wedge to prop yourself up, since your expanding uterus can compress the vena cava, the major vessel that brings blood to the heart. 

– Avoid planks unless you know how to properly engage your TVA. 

– avoid high impact exercises, it’s not bad for the baby- there is plenty of cushion for it? but your pelvic floor can be at risk. 

– skip hot yoga, your baby’s temperature is one degree higher than yours so you don’t want to overheat. 

You must learn how to strengthen your TVA and Pelvic Floor ( my next post) 

And stop exercising if you experience:

Chest pain, dizziness, vaginal bleeding, amniotic fluid leakage, regular painful contractions, labored Breathing, headache, calf pain or swelling.