Being pregnant is one of the most exciting, exhilarating, and exhausting things that can happen to a women and her body. How do you stay fit while growing a miracle? It might not be easy, but it is possible!
FIT Pregnancy Do’s & Don’ts
Of course, you want to check with you OB before exercising during pregnancy. For most women, if you have been active before your pregnancy and everything is normal, most doctors encourage you to stay active throughout your pregnancy. That said, let me share with you my FIT Pregnancy Do’s & Don’ts!
#1 DO embrace the changes that your body is experiencing. This is a unique time in your life and God has made a woman’s body specifically for the task of childbirth. What is happening to you is a miracle. Embrace it!
DON’T think of pregnancy as a free pass to eat all the bad for you foods you want. You are growing a life and what you eat your baby grows from. If you have not been eating healthy foods, now is the time to start! Though you do need some extra calories, it’s not necessary to ”eat for two.” The average pregnant woman needs only about 300 healthy calories more a day than she did before she was pregnant. That is equal to an 8 ounce glass of skim milk, a banana and 1 TBSP peanut butter in addition to what you would normally eat to maintain your weight.
DO drink lots of water to keep hydrated. Pregnant women tend to get dehydrated faster.
DO include low to moderate intensity activities every day.
DO listen to your body and rest when you need to rest.
DO consider a prenatal yoga or Pilates classes! These will keep you flexible and toned making childbirth much easier. They are also fabulous stress relief!
DON’T use heavy weights and bouncing or jerking movements — especially during the third trimester. Hormones during the third trimester make your body more malleable and weight lifting at this time can put too much stress on tendons, ligaments, and bones making you more susceptible to injury.
DON’T do any exercises that require you to lie on your back, to avoid placing any undue stress on your spine, from about halfway through your pregnancy.
DON’T allow your body temperature to go above 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to workout in air-conditioned environments and keep yourself cool while training at all times. Generally, you should keep your heart rate under 140 beats per minute. However, for some women this may be too high and for others, too low. So, the easiest way to do this is what is called the “talk test.” Simply put, if you are too winded to carry on a conversation while exercising, then you are doing too much.
DON’T play contact sports like basketball and any sport where you may be prone to lose your balance. Remember that your center of gravity is off while pregnant and it can be more difficult to balance.
DON’T twist or compress your abdomen, torso or spine. So, no overhead presses or weighted squats. No crunches. No twisting yoga poses. There are plenty of good core exercises you can do without engaging in these types of movements. Check out the prenatal yoga class that I mentioned above.