If you or someone you know is pregnant, you’ll enjoy this guest post by Lizzie; especially if you already have a workout routine in place.
Many women worry about permanently losing their figure and tone while pregnant. While weight gain is normal and healthy in pregnancy, there are several ways that you can safely stay in shape while expecting.
- Continue exercising normally in the first trimester. Many women assume that pregnancy will mean not being able to run or engage in strenuous activity. In actuality, most activities are perfectly safe for pregnancy provided your body is already used to them. There are a few exceptions: activities where you may fall (like horseback riding or skiing), strenuous abdominal exercise, and lifting extremely heavy weights. You should not plan on increasing your exercise program, but you can continue an existing one.
- Scale back exercise in the second and third trimesters. It is important to remain active and strong throughout pregnancy, but equally important to consider the needs of your body. The latter two-thirds of the pregnancy is time to slow down. Begin replacing more strenuous activity with yoga or brisk walking. If you are determined to keep up a more rigorous plan, pay close attention to your baby’s movement. Your baby should be more active when you exercise, so call your OBGYN immediately if you are feeling fewer kicks and somersaults.
- Don’t focus on weight. Pregnant women should ideally gain 25-35 pounds. Do not try to gain less without discussing it with your doctor. If your weight gain is not on track, you may need to eat more or exercise less strenuously. If you were overweight or obese before you got pregnant, you may be referred to a high risk obstetrician for close monitoring (Source: Gilbert Webb, MD USNews).
- Rest and hydration are key. While many forms of exercise pose no risk to your pregnancy, exhaustion and dehydration both can have very negative effects. Dehydration is a common cause of preterm labor, while exercising to the point of exhaustion decreases the blood supply to your fetus. Your body is working harder than ever during pregnancy, so make sure you drink plenty of water and slow down if you begin feeling fatigued.
- Talk to your OBGYN. Every pregnancy is unique, so it’s important to discuss your plans for staying in shape with your physician. Your physician can offer tips tailored to your body and health. Staying in shape won’t hurt you or your baby; in fact, there is evidence that it will have huge positive effects. Your OBGYN is your greatest ally in the fight to stay fit.
Staying fit while pregnant is actually very easy if you continue with your normal diet and exercise routine with a few modifications. Listen to your body and consult an OBGYN to find what activities are best for you.
Have you been pregnant and maintained your fitness throughout? Do you have any tips for expecting mothers?
About the Author
My name is Lizzie Weakley and I am a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.