Pregnancy is both exciting and at times confusing. When it comes to so many things, you are now constantly questioning what is right or wrong, and what you can and cannot do now that you are expecting. This can be especially true when it comes to exercise. Many believe that vigorous workouts can adversely affect the baby, and all too often, women completely stop physical activity once they are expecting. The bottom line is this: if you were active prior to pregnancy, you can remain active during and after your pregnancy. And for those of you that were less than cross-fit loving mamas before that positive pregnancy test, you too can participate in a fitness program. Following are 5 tips to keep in mind when participating in prenatal exercise.
- Exercise is important to a healthy mom and baby. In fact, when you keep a consistent exercise routine, even if just walking daily, your overall well-being will help prevent back pain, keep your energy up, and have a better body image. In addition, your postpartum body-image will be more positive.
- Your body will be changing, and while your ligaments become looser, you will want to avoid things that take place on uneven terrain, or may push you off balance. So while your body is beautifully becoming more limber, you may want to avoid things like cross-fit, mountain biking, skiing, ice skating, or kickboxing (unless you are already actively participating in this and are sure of your footing.) To help increase this limberness, consider things like yoga, walking, and swimming.
- What about high-intensity-interval-training (HIIT?) Unless you are already active in this type of workout and get sign-off from your doctor, this is probably something to avoid as your heart rate is already going to be shifting due to pregnancy (blood flow shifts to accommodate baby) and it can be easy to over do it.
- Weightlifting is a yes! Especially if you focus on your lower body during your 3rd trimester. Many women find that moving to machines versus free weights ensures an easier range of motion and controlled movement; making it easier to consistently manage. Definitely think more reps with less weight.
- Yoga, pilates, and barre classes can be beneficial, but you need to make sure you are taking a prenatal specific class, or letting your instructors know that you are pregnant and some core-based exercises and movements can be less than pleasant for your baby. There are numerous free prenatal classes online now that are worth a shot; and attending ones in person can help you make your new mom friends.
Keep moving and it will help you both mind and body. Got any favorite classes? Share them on our social channels!