Just ‘Cause You’re Knocked Up Doesn’t Mean You Have to Sit Down! Here’s How YOU Can Stay In Shape While Pregnant:
Things that are awesome:
1. Yoga is great for relieving stress and pressure on your body. Most forms of yoga will be safe for you and your baby, as long as they are not extremely rigorous. Many yoga studios offer special classes for pregnant women. Avoid lying flat on your back for extended periods of time and try not to overstretch as joints & ligaments may loosen later in your pregnancy. However, some poses are not designed for pregnancy. Poses you may want to avoid are downward dog (once you are further along), crane, cobra and upward facing dog. Elevate your head on a bolster or block when practicing savasana (corse pose.)
2. One great thing about biking is that the bike supports your weight, so there is less stress on your body. A stationary bike is great exercise because you have less of a chance of falling since your center of gravity is shifting as you grow. However, as your abdomen grows, it can put a lot of stress on your back. If you participate in a spinning class, avoid standing on the pedals during hills, runs, jumps, etc to prevent balance mishaps. This will become increasingly important as your belly grows.
3. Swimming is one of the safest ways for pregnant women to exercise. It provides resistance training without adding weight or stress to your joints. When you swim you are elevate your heart rate providing you with a safe cardiovascular exercise that is not likely to cause overheating.
4. Walking is very beneficial because it is safe for your body and easier on your joints that running or other high-impact cardio.
5. Try using a stability ball or an incline bench for anything that would normally require lying on your back.
6. Strength training is safe & beneficial and you will only need to modify your routine to avoid lying on your back. You want to pay very close attention to your posture & spinal positioning (as always!) so make sure you aren’t arching your back or rounding your shoulders to keep your spine safe. You want your spine neutral and posture upright.
Things that suck:
1. Avoid any high-risk activities such as horseback riding, water skiing, gymnastics, downhill skiing, racquet sports, etc. Also avoid any contact sports like basketball, kickboxing, volleyball, football, softball, etc.
2. After the first trimester, avoid doing exercises which require you to lie on your back, such as crunches along with exercises that require an extended period of motionless standing. Both of these can reduce the amount of blood flow to the uterus and cause your heart rate to drop.
3. Avoid scuba diving as the pressure puts you at high risk. Same with increasing your altitude to above 6,000 feet as you may not get enough oxygen to the fetus.
4. Avoid becoming overheated. If your body is not very acclimated to hot yoga, you want to practice yoga in an unheated room. Also, avoid exercising outdoors on very hot days. And keep water nearby to cool your body during all workouts.
5. Keep your heart rate under 140 beats/ minute.
6. Usually if you are in a habit of running, you can continue running. However, if you did not run before pregnancy, you may want to speak to your health care provider before you begin a running program.
7. If you already participate in aerobics, you will most likely be able to continue; however, you should speak to your health care provider before beginning a new program. Keeping your balance can sometimes be difficult, so you’ll want to be careful as you grow.
8. Although yoga can be very beneficial, some poses are not designed for pregnancy. Once you are nearing the end of your first trimester, poses you may want to avoid are any being in the prone position (lying on your tummy) or downward dog. Crane, cobra and upward facing dog are also poses to avoid. Elevate your head on a bolster or block when practicing savasana (corse pose.) Avoid inversions and backbends as well.
9. Attempting PR’s on the weight room floor – these will just cause you to stress & strain.
10. Attempting amazing acts of balance & stability. If you are working on doing push ups with hands on medballs, feet elevated, etc, this isn’t the best time to attempt these feats.
Also, note that all of this is contingent upon the indivudual. Please speak with your doctor before beginning any workout program.
And one more thing, if you ever begin to feel faint, lie down on your left side to increase oxygen & blood flow!
The Get In Shape Girl