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Should You Workout While Pregnant?

Working out can be very beneficial for you as well as your baby, although there are some precautions that need to be taken so that no harm is done to your baby while exercising. 

In this article, I will try to talk about everything you need to know in order to have a safe workout plan during your pregnancy.

In This Article

• How intense should I allow my workouts to be while pregnant?

• Which exercises should I refrain from while I’m pregnant?

• When to approach medical assistance?

• When is it time to slow down our workout sessions?

• Signs during your pregnancy that you shouldn’t start working in the first place.

Contrary to popular beliefs, prenatal exercises can in fact prove to be extremely beneficial. Albeit, before you lace up your shoes, put on your yoga pants and embark on your pursuit to fitness, I insist you consult a practitioner beforehand. 

Most practitioners however are quite encouraging towards working out as long as it’s practical.

With your doctor’s approval and the right set precautions, you are all set to embark on your pursuit of fitness. 

Here’s a list of precautions and tips you need to keep in mind in order to have good and safe workout sessions during your pregnancy.

How Intense Should I Allow My Workouts To Be While Pregnant?

It is advisable that you initially aim for 30 minutes of any type of physical activity for 5 days a week throughout your pregnancy period. Keep in mind that these activities don’t necessarily have to be very hectic or straining to your body, various household works also count.

In case you have a hectic schedule and you are not sure if you can commit 30 straight minutes a day, 10-minute mini-workouts throughout the day are equally beneficial.

Which Exercises Should I Refrain From During Pregnancy?

While the idea of breaking a sweat every once in a while during pregnancy is not to be demonized, there are certain workouts that you should probably keep away from during pregnancy. 

1. Avoid Workouts That Have A Heavy Core Involvement:

You’d think that the only exercises to avoid would be crunches, planks, leg raises etc. Although you are right about those, there are several different workouts and physical activities that indirectly involve heavy core engagement. 

Activities such as cycling, gymnastic, racket sports, etc. can also prove to be fatal during pregnancy.

2. Avoid Extreme Outdoor Workouts:

This category includes workouts that require to be far from town in regions with higher altitudes. If you are a professional marathon runner or a cycling enthusiast you’d understand what I’m talking about. 

Activities like cycling and running require the person to go outdoors to remote areas which are often at places with high altitudes which are not safe for you or your baby. On the contrary, activities like scuba diving also involve deep diving. 

Going scuba diving while pregnant involves the risk of decompression sickness for the baby.

So, it would be preferable that you wait for your pregnancy to end before participating in such activities.

3. Workouts That Involve Lying Down On The Floor:

Women who have been pregnant for more than 4 months are often advised to avoid activities that involve lying down on the floor as, during this period, the size of the uterus is quite enlarged and may cause the major blood vessels to compress and restrict circulation to both your baby as well as you. 

Furthermore, this could also make you feel extremely short of breath, nauseous, and dizzy.

4. Intense Yoga During Hot Weather:

Any activity that causes your temperature to rise more than 1.5 degrees F should be avoided. In a hot climate, your body tends to focus your blood flow to your skin in attempts to cool it down, this is not good during pregnancy as this might deprive blood flow towards the uterus.

When To Approach Medical Assistance?

If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms given below, you should stop your exercises right away and give your doctor a call:

o Unexpected pain in unusual parts of your body (chest, pelvis, hips, etc.)

o A stubborn cramp that is not cured by stretching.

o Consistent painful uterine contraction.

o Chest pain.

o Calf swelling or pain.

o Dizziness.

o Light-headedness.

o Intense Rapid Heartbeat.

o Breathlessness.

o Walking difficulty.

o Reduced muscle control.

o Headache.

o Swelling.

o Amniotic fluid leakage.

o Increased bleeding from the vagina.

When Is It Time To Slow Down Our Workout Sessions?

If you are committed to workouts during pregnancy and start noticing these symptoms, you should immediately start pushing yourself and maybe rest for a while.

1. Increased Fatigue:

While there’s nothing better than the rush of endorphins after a long and tiring workout session, you should keep in mind that exhausting yourself too much while pregnant is not advisable. 

So, keep it light, low intensity, and safe.

2. Mood Swings:

If your workout sessions start making you feel irritable, constantly exhausted, and short-tempered chances are that your workout plan is taking a toll on you and you should immediately slow down.

3. Insomnia:

Inconsistency in sleeping patterns is a normal phenomenon during pregnancy, while exercising usually tires your body enough to give you a good night’s sleep, excessive workouts, however, can cause the opposite effect.

During pregnancy your body needs sleep and if you start facing trouble trying to sleep, you might want to slow down your workout sessions.

Signs During Your Pregnancy That You Shouldn’t Start Working Out In The First Place

While exercising during pregnancy is good for the average pregnant woman and her baby, in some cases, however, exercising during pregnancy might prove to be fatal. 

Before you embark on your prenatal fitness journey, I insist you approach your family doctor if you have the following symptoms,

o Severe Anaemia During Pregnancy

o Chronic Heart or Lung Conditions

o Placenta Previa after 6 Months of Pregnancy

o Cerclage or cervical insufficiency

o Preeclampsia or high blood pressure induced due to pregnancy

o Preterm rupture of placenta membranes while pregnant 

Keep in mind, never embark on your fitness journey without consulting your doctor about these symptoms


Pregnancy Myths You Need To Stop Believing

Being pregnant is one of the most marvelous things that could ever happen to a woman. You can’t explain how it feels, it’s like your every emotion is bursting. You are hungry most of the time, you get angry about anonymous things, sometimes you may feel like you’re alone in this but then you feel that the baby is always with you and you’ll never be alone, you can just feel your every emotion. 

As you are dealing with all of this there come the “advisors” who will give you a pointer on things to do when you’re expecting. Here are some of the myths that you’ll presumably hear during your pregnancy:

Predicting the gender of the baby

There are heaps of myths to find out the gender of your baby, let’s take a glimpse through some of the most prominent old wives’ tales to predict the sex of your baby during pregnancy. Many people will tell you the gender of your baby just by seeing your belly, if it’s “high” it’s a girl, and a boy if it’s “low”. 

Some people can also know it just by fetal heart rate, excessive morning sickness, glowing or oily skin, food craving, mood swings, hairy legs, etc. They don’t need an ultrasound when they have all of these other things and let’s not forget about the ‘ring in the string’ some of you might have already done. 

But according to, the fact is that only an ultrasound can reliably tell you the sex of your baby if you want to.

Pregnant women should “Eat for Two”

You only need an extra portion of calories in your diet to sustain your baby, not an extra meal. On average it only requires 300 calories extra per day which is about one and a fifth. 

The specific amount of calories depends on the weight, height, trimester of pregnancy as well as activity of a woman.

You should NOT eat Seafood

Seafood is full of nutrients and minerals, for instance, Omega-3, zinc, iron, and unsaturated fats, which are essential for the mother and the baby. But seafood may convey some microscopic bacteria and viruses which can be eradicated when completely cooked, thus you should avoid half-cooked or raw seafood. 

Likewise, pregnant women should also prevent eating fish that has a higher level of mercury. For example King Mackerel, White Tuna, Cobia, Swordfish, Blue Fish, Marlin, Tilefish, etc. You should eat close to 12 ounces of fish each week and a variation of seafood so that you don’t have a grouping of minerals from one sort of fish.

Pregnant women should not exercise

Even with modern medicine, it’s incredibly important to eat a well-balanced diet to ensure you’re growing healthy and well, not just for the baby you’re carrying but for your whole body, exercise helps in doing so. 

A lot of this depends on your weight and where you are in your pregnancy, but eating well is absolutely important if you want to gain enough weight to properly nourish your growing baby and still lose the extra pounds you’ll be carrying for the rest of your pregnancy. It particularly depends on the level of your activity before pregnancy. 

If you frequently exercised before being pregnant, there is no reason to lay off, although you might need to adjust some routines. As a matter of fact, consistent exercise can even help you combat some issues that occur during this period, as well as: Mood Swings, Muscle Pain, Insomnia, Excessive Weight Gains to name a few. 

It is obligatory for you to consult a doctor before incorporating a fitness routine. “If you’re doing anything more strenuous than walking, then you have to slow it down and take it easy,” according to Family Health Matters.

You need to give up Coffee

Yes, your caffeine intake can affect you, but no, it can’t make you go into labor. It’s always a good idea to avoid caffeine, but it should really be taken in moderation. Caffeine can also suppress your liver function, which can impair your ability to digest nutrients and increase your risk of miscarriage, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 

If you do consume caffeine, you can limit the amount of protein you eat. What’s important is making sure you’re eating enough nutritious meals, drinking enough fluids, resting frequently, and—the most important thing of all—cuddling with your baby and growing your baby.

Flying during pregnancy

Before you plan to take a flight you should consult your midwife or GD about your good health and the risk factor of your pregnancy. Some women just avoid it because of the sickness in their first trimester. 

Several airlines don’t allow pregnant women after 32 or 36 weeks, as the chances of them going into labor is high. Some may need you to carry a letter from your GD about their concerns which you can find on their website’s FAQ. 

During the flight, you should make sure to keep your pregnancy notes handy, avoid tea, coffee or alcohol and stay hydrated. But there is a risk factor in flying for more than 4 hours which can cause DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) which causes the blood in your deep veins to clot, usually on the leg. 

You can reduce this risk by wearing loose clothes, you can also put on compression stockings, do calf exercises, and walk around in the plane often.

Pregnant women shouldn’t go out during an eclipse

It is without a doubt an irritating situation that some highly-educated people engage this odd intuition, as well, towards both solar and lunar eclipse. There is no scientific evidence that if a woman goes out during an eclipse, the baby will be born with some abnormalities. 

Although, it is a fact that an eclipse should not be seen with the naked eye is applicable to everyone. You don’t have to stop consuming your liquids, they don’t get poisonous. In fact, staying away from your liquids can cause harm, as you have to stay hydrated. 

You can cook, eat and drink during an eclipse, but you must protect your eyes as the sun’s radiation is very harmful during an eclipse which can cause retinal burns and damage rods and cone cells. You can do anything that you wish to do during your pregnancy as long as there is no harm to your baby.