One of the most common complaints women have during pregnancy is the fact that it limits the ability to exercise. The primary focus during pregnancy is the fetus, which can be damaged permanently through certain forms of exercise. Although this isn’t as important during the first trimester, women must learn how to exercise safely during the second and third trimesters.
If you are an “exercise nut” who insists upon a daily dose of physical fitness every day, it will be necessary to modify your daily routine to suit the needs of your baby. Below, you will find some tips for exercising safely during pregnancy, but always consult your doctor if you have questions or problems.
Exercising Safely During Pregnancy: Time Frame
Most experts say that exercise during pregnancy should be limited to twenty or thirty minutes. If you try to exercise for longer periods, you might begin to dehydrate, which is dangerous to the fetus. Further, you will put undue strain on your body, which will always have a negative impact on the baby. However, you know your body better than anyone else, and you will usually be able to tell when you’ve had enough.
Exercising Safely During Pregnancy: Impact
Any exercise in which you take part should be low-impact, and should focus on the back, upper body and arms. The only real exercise your legs will get should involve walking or stretching, both of which are relatively safe. Aerobics workouts and contact sports are not advisable.
Exercising Safely During Pregnancy: Water Consumption
Make sure, whatever type of exercise you choose, that you drink water continually. Dehydration is dangerous for the baby, which means that you should be constantly replacing fluids and electrolytes that are lost during exercise.
Exercising Safely During Pregnancy: Overheating
It is easy to overheat while exercising, but reaching temperatures over 102 degrees Fahrenheit is also dangerous for the baby. If you begin to feel flushed or if you experience heart palpitations, you should stop and rest, and perhaps consult your doctor.
Exercising Safely During Pregnancy: Dizziness
Because pregnant women often experience bouts of dizziness, you should avoid any type of exercise that might encourage it. For example, an exercise that requires you to change your center of gravity (such as contact sports) could induce dizziness, as could any exercise in which you are jumping up and down or twisting from side to side.
Exercising Safely During Pregnancy: Consider the Mall
If you want to do some walking, but it is the middle of summer, try walking in an air-conditioned building such as a mall. You can shop for baby clothes while getting your exercise, but reduce the possibility of overheating. If you do get too tired, look for a bench or head to the food court for a break.