Column: Pregnancy and working out

Published 7:08 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2006

By Staff
Question of the week: I am pregnant and want to find out what exercises I can do that will be safe for me and the baby, what I need to be cautious of and what are the benefits of exercising while pregnant.
This is a great question that I often receive from women who are pregnant and still want to be able to workout. Let's look at safe ways to exercise during pregnancy, warning signs, and reasons not to exercise while pregnant.
Before exercising when pregnant, you need to look at your past history. You need to talk with your doctor and make sure that you do not have any health problems that would limit you from exercising. It is also wise to talk with your doctor about what types of activities you are interested in doing and if they are right for you.
Reasons you may be advised not to workout during your pregnancy:
If you have signs or past history of preterm labor
Pregnancy induced labor
Vaginal Bleeding
Preterm rupture of membranes
Heart disease
Lung Disease
Other pre-existing conditions that could put you and your baby in harm
If it is alright for you to exercise you need to look at where you were fitness wise before you became pregnant. For instances: if you rarely worked out before you were pregnant then you would need to start off slow and work up to what is comfortable. If you regularly walked 20 minutes on the treadmill then you can try it and see how it feels. Just keep in mind that you probably will not be able to do as much or go as fast as you did before you were pregnant.
Safe workouts tips
Never workout in the heat or humid weather.
After four months, do not do exercises that require you to lie flat on your back. This can make it difficult for blood to circulate.
Do not be in the water that goes over your head.
Wear loose fitting clothes.
Make sure you are consuming the 300 hundred extra calories you need a day while pregnant.
 Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and overheating.
 Never workout to the point of exhaustion
 Realize by your third trimester it may be too hard or uncomfortable to workout.
 Try to avoid exercises that include jumping or quick movements that may lead to injury.
 Always warm up, cool down, and stretch.
Warning signs that your exercise may be too strenuous
Vaginal Bleeding
 Rapid heart beat
 Shortness of breath
 You find it is hard to walk
Back pains
Uterine contractions and chest pain
All of these tips are very important when deciding to exercise while you are pregnant. Make sure you always talk with your doctor before starting a workout routine. Look for next week's article when we continue with this subject and look at different types and the benefits of exercises before and after pregnancy.
Thought of the week: Nothing's more precious than a baby's smile.
Reference: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.