Clients often ask, “Is it safe to workout while pregnant?” Most know that I’ve had three babies, so they feel that I’m an expert in that area, particularly compared to most male trainers. The answer is yes, but with qualifications. It actually depends on when you started working, the type of exercise you do, what month of pregnancy and the intensity of the workout. It’s one reason I tell women that they always should check with their doctor first. With that being said, exercise during pregnancy can actually make delivery easier.
In some situations, unguided exercise or exercise in general need to be avoided.
While I’m a huge fan of exercise during pregnancy, since it offers so many benefits, there are some conditions and situations where it could be dangerous or only done after consulting your doctor. If you have a preexisting condition like diabetes, asthma or heart disease, always check with your health care professional before starting any program of exercise. Spotting, a weak cervix, low placenta or anyone with a history of miscarriages or premature births should be very careful and stick strictly to the recommendations of your medical expert, no matter how easy the exercise program is.
If you’ve never exercised before getting pregnant, take it easy.
If you led an active life before getting pregnant, most physicians agree that continuing exercise should be okay, depending on the type of exercise you did. For those that lived a sedentary lifestyle, stick with simpler exercises, like walking. They should be low impact, such as riding a stationary bike or using a step machine. Swimming is an excellent exercise if you’re pregnant and never exercised before pregnancy.
Even if you were active before you became pregnant, you should still follow some rules.
Doing high impact exercises, those that involve contact or falling should be avoided. These include exercises that involve jumping, hopping, bouncing or skipping. The jarring movements and movements that shock the body, or participating in basketball, skiing or volleyball, where you have contact or shock to the body should be off your list during pregnancy. Some exercises you might not consider potentially dangerous, but are, are those that put pressure on the abdomen, leg lifts, full sit-ups, deep knee bends and toe touching fall in that category.
- Form is extremely important, especially the further along you are. If you’re stretching, don’t hold your breath or bounce. Twisting at the waist and doing HIIT workouts should be avoided.
- There’s a lot of benefit that working out brings. It can help you have a safer, quicker delivery. You can use light weights for exercise, just don’t do lifting laying on your back.
- The kneeling and standing pelvic tilt are both great exercises for back pain. Squats help with delivery, just as kegels will. If you did aerobic exercises before pregnancy, don’t quit as long as they’re safe. You need to have good cardio workouts to make delivery easier.
- The temperature of the room or area where you exercise is important. Avoid working out in the heat. It’s always best to error on the side of caution, since you’re protecting more than your own health, you’re protecting the health of the baby, too.
For more information, contact us today at The Worx Fitness