The happiest moment of your life just happened, you found out you were pregnant! There are a million different thoughts running through your head, rightfully so. One of the most common concerns with most first time moms-to-be is, “is exercising during my pregnancy safe for me?” At Burn Boot Camp’s Fit Community of Moms we train pregnant clients daily, so keep reading to find out all the do’s and don’ts of exercising while pregnant!
First things first, always consult with your medical doctor when a deciding if it’s okay to workout during your pregnancy. Every pregnancy is different, every mom is different, and there may be reasons why your doctor will not allow you to exercise. Generally speaking, if you are not a high risk pregnancy or have a concerning medical issue most MD’s will clear you to workout, but check with them first!
Exercise is not only safe during most pregnancies, it can actually help stabilize common discomforts and often make the labor process shorter. Working out can also boost your energy, improve you mood, help you sleep, and prepare you for childbirth by strengthening the necessary muscle groups used in labor. Research suggests that exercise can also lower your risk for gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women without complications workout 30 minutes per day at a moderate intensity 3-5 days per week. The ideal workout will get your blood pumping, keep you limber, and controls weight gain without putting you and your baby’s body in harms way.
Do’s of Exercising While Pregnant
- Stick with low impact exercises and modify all intense movements. Take breaks as needed.
- Workout 3-6 times per week. Give your body a chance to rest and recover, this is necessary even when not pregnant.
- Stay cool and drink plenty of water. Overheating can be dangerous for the baby so be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.
- Focus on strength training rather than intense cardio.
- Stretch before and after exercise, shortened “tight” muscles could be a problem when that belly starts to grow!
- Scale your exercise back to simple movements in third trimester.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing.
- Continue to work your abdominal muscles for up to 20 weeks.
Dont’s of Exercising While Pregnant
- Don’t workout to the point of exhaustion. Be sure your always able to carry a conversation while training.
- Don’t continue to workout feel faint, dizzy, lightheaded, nauseous, or notice spotting. Immediately stop your exercise.
- Don’t jump, twist, sprint or lay flat on stomach or back after 20 weeks. No excess pressure to your spine and do not compress abdomen after this point in time. If you would like to be overly cautious, skip these movements all together.
- Don’t workout in hot gyms. Air conditioning is key to keeping your body cool.
- Don’t perform heavy compound movements (especially in third trimester) because your body is malleable. Your ligaments, joints, and muscles are at risk.
- Don’t try all new movements. Now is not the time to take up skiing or snowboarding. Your center of gravity is off and blunt trauma could be dangerous.
- Don’t overstretch. The hormone relaxin causes muscles to stretch further than before so don’t tear a hammy!
- Don’t invert your body (go upside down) for any reason.
- Don’t participate in any contact sports.
I have personally trained over 200 pregnant moms-to-be through their entire pregnancies. Usually their trainer is one of the first people notified of their pregnancy because of the potential risks packaged with it. You put a lot of trust in your trainers and I am here to put your mind at ease. So to all of my future moms out there, send this to your trainer so they know exactly how to keep you safe during the most crucial time to stay active.