Pregnancy and Exercise
Pregnancy and exercise tips that will help you whether you're new to exercise or just found out your pregnant and want to know if it's safe to keep running.
1) Stick with an exercise your body is already used to.
If you were already running when you got pregnant and you've checked with your doctor or midwife, running during your pregnancy can be a great experience.
But if you haven't run before, you may want to save running for after you have the baby and stick with walking, swimming, yoga, rebounding or another exercise that is a little easier on the body.
2) Need some extra support in your clothing?
This maternity support belt can be worn while you exercise and has received great reviews by other running moms.
And if you're in your second or third trimester, you may need a little extra support for those expanding boobs. Trust me, I know the feeling! But I assure you, my klutzy self found a bra that allows me to run without my Double D's jiggling, so there's hope. Check out these sports bra reviews by running moms.
3) Ease into it.
It's always important to warm up when you start a run or any other type of exercise in order to prevent injury.
When you're pregnant, your body is more susceptible to injury so it's even more important to get in a good 10 minute warm up.
4) Listen to your body.
Running is often a "mind over matter" sport. In order to push yourself to do better, you often have to ignore your aching body's protests, but pregnancy is not the time for this.
Exercising during pregnancy is all about helping you and your baby to be more fit, not proving what you can do and beating your PR.
That doesn't mean you can't push yourself a little if your up for it. Check out Crystal who ran her first marathon in her first trimester.
5) Carry a snack.
Hunger can add to the feelings of queeziness that tend to come with pregnancy, but a big meal might be hard to digest if you have morning sickness.
Instead carry a light snack that you can eat immediately after you exercise, or even during your exercise. Pretzels are a good salty snack. Or if you prefer something sweet, try a banana with a little peanut butter.
Another thing that might help you feel less sick is a little soda of your choice mixed with milk. I know sounds disgusting, right? But it works! Just think, root beer float.
6) Drink plenty of fluids.
Your strategy might be to avoid drinking a lot in order to keep from upsetting an already wonky bladder. But it is very imporatant to stay hydrated. Instead try drinking small amounts, frequently.
7) Make stretching a part of your pregnancy and exercise routine.
Stretching is an important, but often overlooked, part of exericse.
It's especially important when you're pregnant because your body is producing a hormone that helps loosen your joints and ligamints.
This will help you in birth but can tend to cause injuries during your pregnancy if you don't warm up and stretch properly.
Stretch after your warm up and again at the end of your exercise. Here are some good stretches.
8) Maintain a moderate temperature.
It's important not to get overheated when your pregnant, so you should pay closer attention than normal to the temperature.
If it's really hot, you might try an at home workout, go to an air-conditioned gym, or exercise in the morning or evening when it is cooler. And that warm bath with epson salt, while it may sound very relaxing to your sore muscles, should probably be replaced with a cool shower during those hot summer pregnancy days.
9) Don't let morning sickness stop you.
Sometimes it feels like all you want to do is role into a ball in bed because of the morning sickness, but exercise can actually help combat morning sickness.
10) Have fun!
A happy mama makes a happy baby, so most importantly, get out there and just have fun exercising.
More Tips on Pregnancy and Exercise
Check out these exercise and pregnancy tips and resources.
Have a question about pregnancy and exercise? Visit these forums to get answers and find out what other pregnant runners are talking about.
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