The first and probably most important thing, during exercise when you are pregnant, is that you should not exhaust yourself. As your pregnancy progresses, or your doctor tells you slow down, you should. The rule of thumb is that you should still be able to have a conversation while exercising and if you are out of breath, you are doing too much.
If you weren’t very active before your pregnancy, don’t suddenly take up exercise that is too strenuous. You can start an aerobics class but you need to tell the instructor that you are pregnant and you shouldn’t exercise for longer than 15 minute intervals, three times a week. You can increase this gradually each week until you reach 30-minute sessions.
Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial.
How to exercise while you’re pregnant
- Always warm up before – and cool down after – any exercise.
- Try to keep active every day. As little as 30 minutes can be enough but if that is too tiresome, any amount is better than nothing.
- Try and avoid exercise during hot weather conditions.
- Keep well hydrated.
- If you attend any exercise classes, ensure the instructor is fully certified and that they know that you’re pregnant and how far along your pregnancy is.
- Any form of swimming is a great form of exercise while you are pregnant because the water will help support your weight. Aquanatal classes are a great idea to exercise less strenuously.
- Any exercises where there is a risk of falling should be avoided or if you must, employ extreme caution as a fall can easily harm your baby.
Exercises to avoid in pregnancy
- You should avoid instances where you have to lie flat on your back, particularly when you are more than 16 weeks pregnant because the weight of your baby will press on one of your main blood vessels which take blood back to your heart. Thus lying flat on your back can make you feel faint.
- Avoid any type of contact sport where there is a risk of you being hit.
- Never go scuba diving while you are pregnant.
- You should avoid high altitudes as you and your baby can suffer from altitude sickness.
If you are a fitness instructor and you want to offer instruction to pregnant women , sign up for an Exercise and Pregnancy Course to ensure that you know how to train pregnant women. You can find this course as well as many other fitness courses at Trifocus Fitness Academy. Click here to find out more.