Tips for working out during pregnancy are important for every mom-to-be who plans to keep up with her fitness routine while pregnant! I am currently expecting my first baby, and have found that working out while pregnant is possible, but there are a few guidelines to follow. Read on to discover my top tips for working out during pregnancy, and what you can do to make your workouts go smoothly!
1. Stay Hydrated
The number one most important of all tips for working out during pregnancy is to stay hydrated. Of course, it’s important to stay hydrated no matter what, but pregnant women must be especially careful about drinking enough water when working out. Drink water before, during, and after your workout to be safe!
2. Watch Your Heart Rate
If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, it’s a good idea to invest in one if you plan to work out while pregnant. Most gym equipment comes with a heart rate monitor, but if you don’t have a gym membership, you will need to watch your heart rate as you work out. Pregnant women should not get their heart rates above 140 to be safe.
3. Don’t Lie Flat on Your Back
After the first trimester of pregnancy, it is advisable to avoid lying flat on your back, and especially while exercising. As the uterus grows and becomes heavier, it can cut off circulation to a main artery in your back if you lay down for long periods of time. This can cause lightheadedness, dizzy spells, or fainting in worse cases!
4. Eat Extra Calories
Being pregnant, you already need to consume 300-500 extra calories per day to support your baby! But if you are working out, you should add another couple hundred calories to that number! Working out burns calories, so you need to make sure that your weight gain is healthy, steady, and increasing.
5. Warm up and Cool down
Warming up and cooling down is a good rule of thumb for everyone to follow, not just pregnant women. But if you are expecting, you should take extra care to warm up and cool down when exercising. An exercise-related injury could be far more painful and dangerous to mom and baby than you realize. Cool down is important because you need to get your heart rate and body temp back down to a normal pace before you just take off.
6. Use the 15 Minute Rule
For women in the late 2nd trimester and the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, remember the 15-minute rule! That is, you work out for 15 minutes, then take a short rest. Then resume your workout for another 15 minutes, and cool down before stopping completely. During the rest period, you don’t want to sit down and prop up your feet. Just slow down your workout to a walk or a steady flow of biking, swimming, or whatever you were doing. This prevents injury, and keeps you from overdoing it!
7. Don’t Start Any New Programs
My final tip for working out during pregnancy is to avoid starting any new or strenuous exercise programs when pregnant. Training for marathons or extreme sports should also be avoided. Spin classes are not a good idea, since they put a lot of strain on your abdomen. Stick with things you have done before, or programs like yoga and water aerobics.
I would like to caution any expectant mother to always clear her exercise routine with a doctor first. While most doctors encourage physical activity while pregnant, it depends on each individual and their level of health. You must do what’s best for you and your baby! Do you know any great tips for working out during pregnancy? Please comment below, and thanks for reading!