Pregnancy and Exercise

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Pregnancy and Exercise

A young pregnant woman doing relaxation exercise using a fitness ball

Lower your risk of gestational diabetes, decrease stress, body aches, and fatigue while pregnant just by doing prenatal exercise! Who knew it could be so easy to help yourself prior to, during and post delivery? If you were active prior to becoming pregnant you did you and your baby a great service. Now you can continue to be active throughout the pregnancy and enhance your delivery and postpartum experience. Of course some modifications are required but  you might be surprised with all the options you have available to you because you maintained a healthy body up to this point. If you were not physically active prior to becoming pregnant all is not lost. You can still do low impact activities like walking, pool exercises or swimming (if you can swim already) throughout your entire pregnancy!
Of course prior to beginning any exercise regimen you should consult your physician but here are some guidelines to help you through your active pregnancy:

  • Listen to your body! If something hurts, if you feel faint, if you have shortness of breath, or uterine contractions STOP whatever your doing! If your body or baby is displaying discomfort its best not to push any further and consider discontinuing that exercise.
  • Drink plenty of water while at rest and while exercising.
  • Make sure that your fueling your body with the proper nutrients to maintain this over strenuous physical exertion in combination with creating life;  its kind of a big deal and your body needs all those vitamins, minerals and macro/micronutrients it can get!
  • Wear comfortable clothing that breathes well. And be sure and wear a bra with lots of support to help protect your breasts.

Cautions or things to avoid when exercising while pregnant:

  • Heart rate exceeding 70% of your maximum heart rate.
  • Holding your breath.
  • Contact sports, jarring activities, or exercises where falling is possible. Activities that require balance and nimble movements are also considered risky because of the lax in ligaments and impaired coordination while pregnant.
  • Exercises that may decrease or cut off blood supply to you or baby. Or that may make you dizzy. The aorta is working overtime now and may have allot of pressure on it in certain positions (like laying on your back or bending over with straight legs). Avoid these positions when at all possible especially after the first trimester.
  • Starting a new sport or exercise regimen. Now is not the time to challenge yourself physically or mentally, your body is under tremendous stress already and the risks associated are not worth the payoff. Stick with what you know for now and you and baby can learn new activities once they arrive!

In short, if you just listen closely to what your body is telling you you should experience what your supposed to experience. Its not a party for most women but you are a very important part of  the circle of life so why not make the best of it for you and for your baby.
When the time comes, Congratulations!

Cathleen has a strong background in athletics in general, most of her life has been devoted to martial art and combat training. Her love for high impact/dangerous sports has provided her with the forced pleasure of learning the anatomy and physiology of the human body and about the human condition in conflict. Which later drove Cathleen to spend over a decade working parallel in the medical and fitness industry prior to dedicating all her avocational time to her career as a Health and Wellness Consultant.

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