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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

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