Exercise for the Physically Fit
Regular exercise? No sweat! If you're into weight lifting, aerobics, even spinning, don't think that you have to give it up because you're pregnant! In fact, keeping your regular fitness routine intact will be the best thing you can do for you and your baby. You may have to make some adjustments to the length and intensity of your workouts, but all in all, you'll be able to stay in tip-top shape throughout your pregnancy. Some exercises and sports may pose too big of a risk during pregnancy so you may have to substitute with more pregnancy-friendly ones for the next nine months.
During your pregnancy, you will have to keep your exercise regimen at a mild to moderate level. Try to exercise three days a week, preferably with a day between workouts, for about 30 minutes at a time. However, if you feel too tired or uncomfortable to maintain that routine, back off and take it easy with some gentle stretching or yoga. Here are some pointers for keeping your fitness program safe from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG):
Don't exercise in the supine position (flat on your back) after the first trimester. This position decreases the blood flow to the uterus.
You should be able to exercise and carry on a conversation. If you can't, slow down. You will have less oxygen available for aerobic exercise during pregnancy, so modify the intensity of your routine accordingly.
You will need an additional 300 calories a day during pregnancy, so if you're exercising, pay close attention to your nutrition and replace those calories you are burning.
Especially during the first trimester and throughout our pregnancy, stay cool when exercising. Drink plenty of water, wear loose fitting cool clothing and don't work out in a gym or any environment that is too warm.
After you give birth, resume your pre-pregnancy exercise routine gradually, based on your doctor or midwife's advice.
Don't do anything that involves standing motionless for long periods as it can decrease blood flow to the uterus. Weight lifting is fine, but incorporate movement into your routine by changing positions, stepping back and forth, etc. You may be able to continue doing weight bearing exercises at close to your usual intensity throughout pregnancy, but keep in mind, non weight bearing exercises such as swimming or yoga are easier to continue and carry less risk of injury.
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