Staying fit during pregnancy

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My pregnancy was a surprise. While I was excited when I found out, I also had some serious nerves about the situation. One of the major areas of my life that felt it the most was my fitness. I LOVED doing yoga, and went about four days a week. When I found out I was pregnant I hopped online to find out what I was currently doing that might hurt peanut baby. I knew being pregnant would change my figure (ha!), but I wanted to try and stay in the best shape I could while I was pregnant. 
The lovely thing is that pregnant women are recommended to exercise. Women who maintain regular exercise while pregnant feel better on average and find more relief from common mild pain associated with pregnancy such as backache and swelling. Exercise can help pregnant women relieve stress as well as improve energy. (http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/exercise-during-pregnancy). 
When I had my first appointment, I had a journal full of questions for my midwife. Basically, I wanted to know if I could continue doing my yoga practice. While there is hot debate over this issue, my midwife simply told me that I was able to do any exercise I was doing regularly (for at least the past six months) prior to getting pregnant. She advised me to listen to my body, drink plenty of water, and stop doing yoga if I felt light headed or sick. 
I was so excited! I was able to do yoga for my entire pregnancy. Naturally I started to listen to my body and choose cooler classes, started modifying poses, and rested more often. 
I encourage my friends to try and exercise during pregnancy. While I did not do hot yoga more than a handful of times, I did continue to practice yoga in cool rooms. Continuing to stretch and build muscle tissue helped my pregnancy tremendously. I felt great throughout most of it, and I contribute much of it to exercise.
If you want to try and stay on track with weight gain and feel great, keep exercising or start a simple routine! 
Of course, there are guidelines. 🙂
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1. Make sure to check with your healthcare provider first on your planned regimen. If you have a high risk pregnancy or health conditions you may be restricted to certain forms of exercise   
2. EAT! You need more calories than you did before to help little bun grow. Choose foods high in protein, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables to help maintain muscle.
3. If you currently exercise  keep doing what you were doing. Your heart rate should maintain as comfortable a level as it did prior to pregnancy. 
4. If you are new to exercise start with a graduated plan of walking. For more ideas visit: Baby Center Link
5. Drink water! Staying hydrated is crucial. Check with your provider on how much water you should be drinking now that you are pregnant.
6. Your babies temperature raises faster than yours. If you feel like you are too warm, cool down.Raising your core temperature above 102 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 10 minutes could harm your baby.  (http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-13-rules-of-safe-pregnancy-exercise_622.bc?page=2)
7. Avoid high impact sports that can result in injury. Enough said! 
8. Avoid lying flat on your back. Doing so can reduce blood flow to your brain and uterus which can make you dizzy! 
9. Do not get up too quick- once again so you do not get dizzy.
10. Aim to exercise 5-6 times a week for at least 20 minutes to feel the best! 

Good luck! 

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