Despite the obvious and overbearing fear of injury or harm coming to either mother or baby, working out during pregnancy is perfectly healthy when done correctly. If you were working out regularly before your pregnancy, there’s no reason why you can’t keep going now, as long as you take care.
Speak to Your Doctor First
Before getting started on any fitness plan, be sure to get permission from a medical specialist first, as they’ll be able to give you sound advice specific to you, and keep an eye on your progress and overall health.
Listen to Your Body
Remember your body as an entirely new focus right now, and it’s not just looking after you, it’s looking after another life too. Your heart’s working overtime to pump additional blood around the body, as well as your lungs putting in extra work too, so be sure not to push yourself to the limit, and keep your heart rate at a sensible rate. Most doctors recommend around 140bpm or less, but speak to your specialist to make sure.
During the first trimester, exercises like cycling or weight lifting (in moderation) are ok, but once you enter the second and beyond, it’s best to use a stationary bike to reduce any risk of injury. Also be sure to avoid any exercise that requires you to lie flat on your back like ab work or glute bridges as this can decrease the blood flow to both you and your baby.
Pointing back to our earlier point, your body is using extra energy right now, so be sure to eat enough calories for both of you. Make a conscious effort to fuel up before and after your workouts to make sure you’re not taxing your body too hard. During the second trimester, increase your daily intake by around 300 calories, and as you enter the third trimester, you’ll need close to an extra 500 calories each day.
The “eating for two” trope crops up on the silver screen often, but it doesn’t mean you can start ordering extra ice cream with every meal. Remember what you take in, is exactly what your baby takes in, so eating healthy is more important than ever. Try focusing your diet heavily on whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Try staying away from processed foods and artificial sweeteners, and if you continue to work out, make sure you’re getting enough protein. If you’re struggling to eat enough fresh fruit and veg, juicing can be a fantastic way to fill any nutritional gaps you may have during your pregnancy, as you can get all the goodness of a whole rainbow of fresh food, in a single glass.
Whether you’re working out or not, hydration is more important than ever during your pregnancy. The usual rule for the average person is around 2 liters per day, but during pregnancy, this increases to around 2.5 liters, even more during exercise or on a hot day. Be sure to drink clean, filtered water as often as you can to keep any impurities or unwanted chemicals out of your system.
Author: Jon Hawkins, Health advisor and trainer at Discount Supplements