Just because you are pregnant does not mean you have to stop your normal exercise routine. As a matter of fact, moms who are active before, during and after pregnancy often have an easier pregnancy, delivery, and recovery. The key to maintaining your exercise routine during your pregnancy is to understand the limits of the pregnant body and the safety concerns that come along with carrying a baby.

Exercise dos

You can actually stay active right up until the day of birth. Just follow a few simple rules when planning your pregnancy exercise routine.

  • Ask first. Always ask your doctor/midwife about your exercise plans before starting any pregnancy fitness routine.
  • Choose safe exercises. It is important to stay away from activities that could cause harm to you or your baby.
  • Adjust intensity. When you are pregnant, you will need to listen to your body a little more closely. Your previous level of intensity may not keep your baby safe during pregnancy. This is especially true during the last months of the pregnancy.
  • Stretch your muscles. You will benefit greatly from keeping your muscles strong and limber. While you do not want to be lifting very heavy weights, calisthenics is perfect for building muscles over the entire body. After every workout and on days you don't work out, make sure to stretch the muscles well.
  • Stay aware. If while you are exercising the movements do not feel “right” listen to your body and change the exercise. Each pregnancy is different and your body will tell you what is right and what is not right.

Exercise don’ts

Just as there are things you can do with your pregnancy fitness routine, there are also things that should be avoided during pregnancy.

  • Don't wear your same workout clothing. It is important not to wear any clothing that is restrictive. This is especially important during the later months of pregnancy.
  • Don't take up new sports. It is wise not to try any new, extremely active sports during any part of pregnancy. These new activities in your cumbersome state can lead to injury and the increased possibility of fetal harm.
  • Don't hold your breath. At times during fitness routines, you may feel as though you need to hold your breath. If you are not breathing, the baby is not breathing. Proper breathing keeps the blood oxygenated properly.
  • Don't engage in activities that involve your belly directly. Doing exercise during pregnancy that could cause trauma to the tummy is not approved for pregnant moms. Leave the medicine ball toss at the gym.

It is vital before, during, and after pregnancy to stay active. The more active your body is during pregnancy, the more you will be able to enjoy the changes in your growing body. Exercise can relieve lower back pain, swelling, and stiffness associated with pregnancy. Be sure to discuss all routines with the doctor in charge of your care during the pregnancy.

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