If you’re expecting a baby, there’s no doubt that there’s much excitement in your life right now. You’re redecorating a special room in your house for this new child you’re bringing into the world and getting all the supplies ready that you’re going to need upon his or her arrival.
While this is all taking place, you’re also starting to notice many different changes taking place in your body, some of which you may not be entirely comfortable with.’ While the process of pregnancy is entirely natural, many women do struggle with some of the weight gain that comes along with it.
Fortunately, if you choose to lead a smart exercise program throughout your pregnancy, you’re going to feel a lot better about your body and will also be able to limit just how much excess weight is gained.
While you can never prevent weight gain entirely, nor should you try, there’s no reason to gain 50 pounds throughout a pregnancy as you will have to lose this later on down the road.
It’s important that you do come to understand which exercises will be safe to do throughout your pregnancy however so that you don’t wind up putting yourself or your new developing baby at risk.
Let’s go over some of the main things that you need to keep in mind.
Choosing Cardio Wisely
First up on the list of types of exercises that you may choose to perform is cardio training. Maintaining good cardiovascular shape is important throughout pregnancy as not only is it going to make going about your everyday routine that much easier, but it’s also going to make it easier to get back into exercise after giving birth.
Cardiovascular fitness is the area of fitness that tends to decline the fastest without regular workout sessions so it’s definitely one that you’ll want to devote some time to keeping up.
When it comes to the specific form of cardio that you perform, you want to keep your heart rate at a moderate level throughout the session, not pushing it too high as you would have with interval training previously.
It’s important not to let your heart rate increase too much as this can put the baby in jeopardy as the blood pressure rises and the body has to work much harder.
In addition to that, you also don’t want to see dramatic increases in body temperature either, and typically the higher the heart rate, the higher your internal temperature will be.
If you are someone who was a regular runner prior to your pregnancy, you can keep up with your regular running routine but note that you should not aim to make improvements at this point, but rather keep up your usual sessions.
Many women who are frequent runners can continue with this activity well into their second trimester, after which they may want to start slowing down a bit as they get closer to giving birth.
If you weren’t a runner in the past though, now is not the time to start up. Instead, choose a different form of cardio training and if you want to get into running, do this after the baby is born.
Walking or incline walking are both excellent forms of cardio training for the pregnant woman as they are lower impact in nature and will still keep you in great physical shape.
Likewise, cycling or using the elliptical trainer are both good options, as is swimming or aquasize aerobics classes.’ Many women really love these especially as they take all the stress off the joints, which is something you may be noticing as you continue to gain weight throughout the pregnancy period.
As you progress along through your pregnancy you’re also going to want to shorten the duration and intensity of the cardio training further, so pay attention to your body and listen to the signs it’s sending you.’ Try breaking your cardio training up so you do ten minutes at various points throughout the day rather than aiming for one lengthy cardio workout.
Don’t Neglect Strength Training
Moving on, another key form of exercise that you should keep up throughout your pregnancy is strength training. Strength training will be important to keep your metabolism on high and to help maintain the muscular strength as the nine months progresses along.
With strength training though, you want to avoid doing any exercises that have you face downwards, either on the floor or on an exercise machine, so as to not put any stress on the stomach.
In addition to that, you should maintain a reasonable weight lifted while going about your strength training in order to prevent a build up in blood pressure level that could put the baby at risk.
Many women often find that doing bodyweight training is enough for them during this time and will complete exercises such as push-ups, lunges, bodyweight squats, dips, and so on.
Or, you may want to look into resistance band exercises as well as these tend to work very well to target all the main muscle groups in the body and aren’t quite as taxing as heavier weights are.
Consider Pregnancy Yoga
Another good activity for those who are pregnancy is yoga.’ When making the decision to do yoga however make sure that you look for a class that is specifically catering to pregnant women or choose one that is more relaxation focused at a beginners level.
You will notice that you don’t quite have as much flexibility as you normally do while pregnant and you don’t want to be contorting your body into any very awkward positions either.
Yoga works great for helping to relieve stress though and will help to prevent tightness from developing in the body so is definitely a form of exercise to consider.
So there you have a few of the key elements that you should keep in mind with regards to exercising while pregnant.’ You should definitely try and devote 30 minutes a day to physical activity throughout your pregnancy, choosing a wide variety of exercises that you both feel comfortable doing and enjoy.
If you do, you’re not only going to find that you feel better about the changes that are taking place during pregnancy but the weight will come off much more easily after you’ve brought your new bundle of joy into the world.