What's the Deal with Exercising During Pregnancy?
So... what is the deal with working out while pregnant? Isn't this my pass to just not do any physical activity? Actually, it should be quite the opposite! There are many benefits to staying or becoming active while pregnant.
There are many benefits to working out while pregnant! It can lower the aches and pains we feel, minimize constipation, help you sleep, and even lower your risk of gestational diabetes. Consistently working out while pregnant will also aid in your body bouncing back after delivery (can i get an amen?)!
We are also very aware of those lovely mood swings we are getting due to the flood of hormones, right? Well... exercise releases endorphins aka happy chemicals!
I think this is one of the big hitters! Exercising during pregnancy can help strengthen the muscles that are used during LABOR. This can help make our deliveries just a little bit easier! Anything to make it easier...!
How is this going to make me feel?
Well, let me tell you first hand! You are going to get tired a lot faster than you did pre-pregnancy. During pregnancy, the blood volume in your body doubles. Our hearts have to work harder to pump that extra blood through our bodies which means that the stress on our system is 50% greater than prior to pregnancy. Wow! Our bodies are impressive!
You are going to feel out of breath! I get winded quite easily being pregnant, to the point that it's almost humorous.
Your balance may not be on point anymore. Due to the release of certain hormones into our pregnant systems, our joints and ligaments have begun to loosen. Our centers of gravity are also changing. The combination of these two things alters a pregnant woman's sense of balance (great! I was already clumsy!).
There are a few things to watch out for!
After the first trimester, you may want to stay away from exercises that call for you to lay on your back. The vena cava (vein that returns blood to heart from head, neck, and upper limbs) can become compressed by your growing uterus which can cause reduced blood flow and the feeling of nausea and dizziness. Good thing that there are many different ways to work on our abs!
I personally still do exercises where I need to lay on my back, I will be 27 weeks Thursday. However, I make sure that I keep those periods short and get up and move around in between sets.
Another thing to be aware of... the further into your pregnancy you get, the more vulnerable your joints will become as your body is preparing for labor. Be careful to not lift too heavily and listen to your body.
- Always check with your health care provider. I am not one, these articles are based on facts and personal experience... with that said, we are all different.
- Listen to your body!
- Do not feel that now is that time to go H.A.M.
- Contact sports are a no-no! You have to protect the bump, even if you are not showing just yet.
- Hydrate! Rule of thumb is 8-10 8oz glasses a day!
If you have ANY questions or suggestions... please send them my way!