Along with eating the right foods, regular exercise is a great way to keep you and your baby healthy.
When you're pregnant, exercise will help you feel your best. But don't exercise to lose weight. This is a time when you should be gaining weight.
Don't do much more exercise than you did before you got pregnant. It's better to stick with what you're used to. Ask your doctor which exercises are right for you before you start.
Walking is best.
Walking is the best exercise for pregnant women. This is true even if you didn't walk much before. Special exercise classes for pregnant women are also good, if you can afford them. Hospitals and community centers may offer these classes. Ask around.
Make a plan.
Put together a plan of exercises that you'll stick to. And then decide how often you'll do them. Try to schedule 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, like walking, most days of the week. Remember that you can add up the time that you are physically active, so if you only have time to be active for 10 minutes 3 times a day, take advantage of each opportunity.
Take it easy.
You must be careful when you exercise while you're pregnant.
- Don't exercise in very hot or very cold weather.
- Be very careful about your body. Some things are different now. Joints like knees and elbows can be injured more easily. This is because of the increase in flexibility that your body uses to prepare for childbirth.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Don't let yourself become too hot. The warm up and cool down are just as important now as they are at any other time. Start off slowly for the first 5 to 10 minutes. Then you can go a little faster. Slow down again at the end for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Watch your balance now that your belly is much bigger. Avoid activities that require extra balance or that pose a greater risk for falling.
- After 20 weeks, avoid during exercises on your back.
When to stop.
Your doctor may want you to stop exercising when your due date gets closer. And at any time during your pregnancy, be sure to stop exercising right away if you:
- feel pain
- have cramps in your uterus
- feel blood or fluid coming from your vagina
- get dizzy
- have trouble breathing
If the problem doesn't go away after you stop exercising, make sure to call your doctor.