5 Do’s for Exercise and Pregnancy!
A couple of months back, I talked about the “5 Don’ts during pregnancy” but failed to tell you what you should do as far as exercise during probably the most important 9 months of your life.
Because it is now a risk factor to not exercise during pregnancy, this is not a time to hover, put your feet up and “protect” the baby. Being sedentary will only increase your chances of developing gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and gaining too much weight, which is a another issue all it’s own.
Having said that, when do you know whether it’s too much or not enough? You can only be the best gauge of that but there are 5 MUST-DO’s when exercising during pregnancy to ensure the healthiest possible results.
1. If you are just starting to exercise and are newly pregnant, start slooooooww. No, pregnancy is not an illness and I will be the first one to yell it from the rooftops, BUT this is no time to sign yourself up for the first bootcamp you find without knowing what you are doing. Your body is going through A LOT during that first trimester (hence why you feel so “lovely”) so baby steps is your best bet.
2. If you are a seasoned exerciser, please please PLEASE continue doing what you are already used to and enjoy doing. If you are having a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy, there is no evidence to support that you should suddenly stop and do “gentle” exercise throughout. If you do, I guarantee you will feel like crap as you’re biting at the bit wondering why you stopped.
3. Make strength training part of your exercise routine! Well this is nothing new coming from me but I stand my ground in defence of building strong pregnant women everywhere! How else do you think you are going to be able to cary around another 25+ pounds without pain or injury?
4. Focus on relaxation and breathing techniques. Although with training clients in building strength, there is always a strong focus on breathing properly through a particular exercise. However, breathing for relaxation is also very important and where yoga and meditation compliment any exercise regime. You will need this type of training to guide you through a (hopefully) speedy labour and delivery.
5. Listen to your body! Believe it or not, there will be a time when you step into the gym and those 10 lb dum-bells feel like 50 lbs. It’s amazing the amount of energy that pregnancy requires and it will eventually catch up to you. Don’t push yourself when this happens but don’t stop either! Just scale back your weights and/or repetitions and continue with your exercise routine.
When you’re exercising during pregnancy, the goal to maintain as much strength and cardiovascular training as you can. This is not the time to sign up for a marathon or jump out of a plane – remember my last post? “There’s extreme and then there’s this…”
The only “marathon” you’re training for is labour and delivery.