I Want to Exercise, But I'm Pregnant
- Author Molly Minks
- Published December 26, 2011
- Word count 1,067
Ladies, If you are anything like me then you want to stay in shape, pregnant or not. I like looking great for my man and want to be around a long while to be there for my kids and their kids too. Everyone knows that a little moving around can go a long ways. But then pregnancy comes around and battling with fatigue, nausea and my mood swings can get in the way of motivation. When I'm with child, nothing kills a planned trip to the gym like an occasional tree-sloth like me, Molly Minks. Assuming I'm having a "good day", what are the guidelines for exercising while pregnant?
First off, you need to know that being in shape for labor is highly recommended. You should view your day of labor like the big game. You have been training and preparing for this day for at least 9 months (I say "at least" because you should be in-shape before you get knocked-up). When the time comes you need to be at your best. Of course by the time you check into the hospital, you probably won't have just finished your daily 10 mile crew-team workout, but at least you should have done something to help you and the baby in the months leading up to that big day.
Exercising while pregnant has many benefits that are almost sure ways to make your pregnancy tolerable. Imagine having gestational diabetes and having to check your blood sugar several times a day. Do you even realize that you have many pain receptors in the tip of your fingers? Having to poke those tips for a little blood each day can wear on you like an over-zealous PTA mom. Or how about being in labor and calling the ref for a time-out because you are winded? We all know that pregnancy brings some of grandma's chronic back pain due to poor posture. Well fear no more because if you take care of yourself and exercise throughout your pregnancy, you can prevent and even eliminate some of those health problems.
You can put the triathlon on hold for now; you can just focus on keeping it light while pregnant. Don't overdo it and don't harm your baby. Every woman has their own tolerance level so you need to find yours. You should have been exercising before you became pregnant, so take your previous level of exertion and just take it down a notch to start. Go to the easy impact aerobics class as opposed to the high impact class, or don't work up as much of a sweat. You don't want to become winded and out of breath because you don't want to keep that oxygen from your growing baby. Keep the heart rate below 140 beats per minute, that’s what my doctor told me. He also instructed me to listen to my body, I knew when it was time to stop or slow down.
Alright, I want all the diabetics, asthmatics and heart disease ladies to line up! Exercise for you while pregnant is going to be little to none, so talk to your doctor for specific guidelines. If you have a serious medical condition then maybe getting in your 30 minutes of exercise a day is going to be a no-no for you-you. Now I want all the spotters, bleeders, weak cervixes, and low-hanging placentas (you know who you are) to line up over there. You may be looking at the other group thinking "glad I'm not them", but the same goes for you too. Don't put your baby at risk just because you want to look like Kate from the plus 8 show.
There are lots of exercises that you can do while pregnant, like being a vegetarian doesn't mean you can't enjoy good food. Jogging is ok, especially if you are a jogger, pregnant or not, because your body is already accustomed to that kind of exercise. When I was pregnant I loved the elliptical machines and the stationary bike, then I would throw in some low impact aerobics occasionally on certain days. Some of the other pregos would swim or do brisk walking; all of these are great for pregnant women alike. There are exercises that you might not even have thought of like kegels! These will tone up your pelvic muscles and help with your bladder from becoming incontinent. Also, kegels will strengthen those muscles that support your uterus. I won't get into what a prolapsed uterus is, but for those brave enough, you can Google search that on another day when you are fully emotionally and psychologically prepared. Now that you have some ideas for how you can exercise while pregnant, take a breather and rest. Your baby needs mommy to not run out of gas while exercising.
Now I would like to address all the power-lifters out there. Or maybe you don't power-lift but like doing some of those high-impact activities/sports. Well, now you are going to have to take it easy. There are some exercises that you are going to have to avoid. Any activity that might make you fall is a no-no like snowboarding, horseback riding, or bull riding. No more softball, football, basketball, volleyball or other contact sports...but you can still wear your husband's oversized jersey. No more activities that may involve fast running, jumping, hopping, skipping or bouncing is off limits. Avoid activities that require you to hold your breath, twist, bend up and down, jar your body, deep knee bends, or bouncing while stretching. Most of all, if it’s too hot and humid, stay inside. You don't want to find yourself losing too much water.
I wouldn't be a responsible blogger if I didn't warn you about things to watch out for. Don't be a hero; you need to pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you start having any vaginal bleeding, chest pain, cramping, abdominal pain, light-headedness, breaking out in sweats, palpitations (irregular heart beat), short of breath, muscle weakness, or sudden swelling in your legs then you need to stop and notify your doctor.
I hope you all enjoy getting in your exercises while being pregnant. I’m sure your partner will appreciate your desire to look nice and be healthy. In fact you might motivate them to get off the couch, put down that deep-fried Twinkie, and sweat it to the oldies with you.
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