Here are some tips to help you stay healthy wisely during some of the most important months of your life.
The Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
Exercise has many benefits even while you are pregnant. It can lift your mood and keep your blood pressure and heart rate low. Also, exercise improves muscle tone when you perform activities that challenge them. When it comes to labor, you’ll be glad you have strong muscles.
If you haven’t exercised before you can begin right now. It is normal for women to gain weight during pregnancy, but activity will keep it manageable. For those who have already started an exercise program, you can continue with some restrictions as your belly gets bigger.
Tips for Each Trimester
Exercise during pregnancy: First trimester
There aren’t too many restrictions on activity at this point. You can participate in the same activities that you did before with the exception of contact sports. Strive for about 30 minutes a day of exercise.
So, if you run, then you can continue. No marathon running. It is important for women to stay hydrated at this point.
Weight training can also be a part of your routine. In fact, it can get your muscles in shape for all of that pushing you will be doing later. Don’t forget the Kegel exercises. They strengthen the pelvic floor so you can maintain your bladder control as your belly grows.
If you haven’t exercised before, this is a perfect time to find out what activities you like to do. As long as your morning sickness doesn’t keep you down, go for it. But, if you do feel sick a lot of the time, it’s normal. Wait until it passes and then you can get moving.
Exercise during pregnancy: second trimester
Your belly will begin to show now. At this point, you may want to cut back on the high impact activities like step aerobics, kickboxing and cycling. Balance can be a problem as you adjust to the baby moving and its growth. You don’t want to fall and injure yourself.
Move into activities that don’t require a lot of bouncing and impact. Swimming, walking and yoga are great alternatives for the next three months. Yoga classes specifically for pregnant women will work your muscles and keep you relaxed.
Exercise during pregnancy: Third trimester
You are in the home stretch now. You’ll want to take it easy. Your body is going through so many changes that it might be best to keep it simple.
You may continue to swim and walk when you feel like it. If you are experiencing sciatic pain, then swimming takes the pressure off of all joints while still giving you a brisk workout. Through it all, remember to stay hydrated and keep your heart rate below 140 beats a minute.
Exercise is important at all stages of life, maybe even more during pregnancy.