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How to exercise safely when you’re pregnant

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Keeping fit and exercising during your pregnancy has great benefits. Staying active can make your pregnancy easier, prepare you for labour and childbirth and lift your spirits. Here are a few things you can do to exercise safely

Warm up

Don’t forget to do a quick warm up such as five minutes of marching in place or slow walking. Preparing your muscles and joints for exercise and build your heart rate up slowly. Warming-up and jumping into strenuous activity before your body is ready could strain your muscles and ligaments and experience increased post-workout aches and pains.

Keep moving

If you need to catch your breath, make sure you don’t stand stationery for long periods. This can decrease blood flow to the uterus and cause blood to pool in your legs, making you dizzy. Keep moving by switching positions or walk in place.

Make it part of your routine

Commit to incorporating regular exercise into your schedule. Keeping up a routine is easier on your body than long periods of inactivity interrupted by spurts of activity. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise a few days a week as long as your doctor says it’s OK.

Stay away from dangerous sports

Avoid contact sports, as well as activities that might throw you off balance, such as horseback riding, downhill skiing, or mountain biking. Regular cycling early in your pregnancy should be okay if you’re comfortable on a bike, but it’s probably best to stick to stationary or recumbent bikes later in pregnancy.

Dress in the right gear

Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing. Dress in layers so it’s easy to peel off a layer or two after you’ve warmed up or if you feel too hot. Make sure your maternity bra offers enough support, and choose athletic shoes that fit your feet properly and offer good support. Keep an eye on your shoe size, it might change because of mild swelling. If that happens, don’t try to squeeze your feet in, get a new pair.

Stay off your back

Avoid lying flat on your back after the first trimester. This position puts pressure on a major vein called the vena cava, which will reduce blood to your heart and may diminish blood flow to your brain and uterus, making you dizzy, short of breath, or nauseated.

Placing a pillow under your right hip or buttock will help you not compress the vena cava.

Caution:  Remember that when you’re pregnant you need to approach working out with extra caution. Talk to your doctor or midwife about your fitness routine to make sure your activities don’t put you or your baby at risk.


 

If you’re exercising when you’re pregnant you can get a tracker like the misfit, MOOV, or Jawbone to monitor pulse and steps, calories, distance and sports activities, so you don’t over exert yourself. Check out the selection at Cenhealth Shop