Exercising during pregnancy is a great way to keep your body in shape. When done correctly (after consulting with your doctor), it’s typically perfectly safe for both you and your baby. Still, there are a few things you need to watch out for! Take a look at our safety tips for exercising during pregnancy.
First things first: what to know before you start exercising during pregnancy
- Talk to your doctor first. Before you start exercising during pregnancy, it’s important to discuss your workout plans with your doctor or midwife. They can give you a better idea of your limitations.
- Stick with what you know. Pregnancy isn’t the time to embark on a new exercise journey. For example, if you weren’t a runner before you got pregnant, don’t sign up for a marathon!
- Skip the contact sports and jarring workouts. This means no hockey, football or other sports in which the goal is to knock you on your butt! It’s also a good idea to stay off horses, mountain bikes and other things that require balance. Remember, your center of gravity is much different than it was before pregnancy! Jarring workouts, like high-impact aerobics, are also pretty much of the table. If you need some ideas for types of workouts, check out our safest ways to exercise during pregnancy and those exercise tips for pregnant women.
Tips to Stay Safe while Exercising During Pregnancy
- Stay hydrated! This is probably one of the most important safety tips for exercising during pregnancy. Keep water with you at all times and make sure you drink it frequently. Dehydration is never a good thing, but during pregnancy it can be detrimental to your baby by causing contractions and raising your body temperature too high.
- Warm up your muscles. Your changing hormones have an effect on your muscles and joints, making injury a higher risk. Even if you skipped the pre-workout warm up before pregnancy, get into the habit of doing it while pregnant.
- Dress appropriately. Wearing the right (affiliate link) workout clothes for pregnancy is important for two reasons: they helps keep your body temperature down and helps you move better, so you don’t end up tripping yourself.
- Know your limitations. Exercising during pregnancy isn’t the time to test your boundaries and try to break old records. In fact, it’s actually time to ease up a bit! Before pregnancy, we often push ourselves until our muscles scream out for mercy. During pregnancy, give them mercy before they beg for it. If you’re uncomfortable, it’s time to stop.
- Change positions frequently. Exercises in which you stand still for long periods of time, such as certain yoga poses, causes your blood to pool in your legs. It can also decrease your blood flow to your baby.
Dangerous Signs While Exercising During Pregnancy
Even if you faithfully follow all safety tips while exercising during pregnancy, it’s still important to be aware of the signs that you’re in danger. These include:
- Dizziness and fainting
- Lack of fetal movement or a major slow-down in your baby’s activity
- Severe headaches, nausea or vomiting
- Heart palpitations
- Vaginal bleeding or other fluids leaking out
- Pain or swelling in your calf area- could be a sign of a deep vein thrombosis and should be investigated immediately to prevent embolism.
As long as you keep your doctor in the loop and use common sense, exercising during pregnancy can be incredibly beneficial to you and you baby. Just follow basic safety tips and stop when something doesn’t feel right.
Do you know of any safety tips for exercising during pregnancy that I missed? Tell us in the comments!