Even though they have don’t have the high-risk pregnancy label...they still feel too scared to exercise.
I get that. Sometimes not doing something at all feels better than not doing something right. Especially when it impacts the 2 most precious things: you and your baby’s life.
I highly encourage you to listen to your body and intuition. And, of course, check in with your healthcare providers.
Now that you (hopefully!) feel encouraged (perhaps even inspired) to exercise while pregnant you might wonder what “light to moderate exercise” actually means. What kind of exercise is appropriate for pregnant mothers?
Pregnancy is the perfect time to focus on self-care. It is not the time to be highly competitive. Or to start new, rigorous activities.
Are you already an active person? Continue with your normal routine until it starts to not feel right or modifications seem appropriate.
A combination of cardio, strength training, and stretching is ideal.
As far as cardio goes, my favorite arenas are:
They are all incredibly beneficial. They link your breath to movement, which is an important skill during labor.
The most simple way to make sure you’re staying in the Safe-Zone, is called this “Talk Test”. If you can carry on a conversation while exercising, you are likely not over-doing it. This means your heart rate and blood pressure are likely under control.
Yoga is amazing. Just be aware. Your blood volume increases so much while pregnant. So when you transition from pose to pose, you may experience some dizziness.
Using light weights and bands are actually safer than the machines at the gym. You are less likely to lift something that’s too heavy if it’s a free weight. And also, most machines in gyms are designed for male body type specifications.
I’ve noticed that women are far more consistent with exercising if it’s not always done in solitude... or off of a sheet of paper. Having someone with you--or sharing your location with a trusted person through your phone-, in case your blood pressure did drop or you lost your balance or anything is always a good idea. So, invite a friend to walk with you, do Zoom dance parties with your gal pals--it all counts!
Another simple way to make sure you are exercising safely while pregnant is to allways have a water bottle with you to stay hydrated. It’s recommended to drink half your body weight, in ounces, over a 24 hour time period.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions! Part of the Train4Birth Fitness Birthplan is that you then have me as your coach, helping you modify your workouts, as things evolve throughout your pregnancy.
Reference: 2019 Canadian Guidelines for physical Activity throughout pregnancy. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/52/21/1
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