This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group and DripDrop, but all opinions are my own. #pmedia #DrinkDripDrop #DripDropHydrates http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
When I was pregnant with my twins, I did marching band at Brigham Young University the entire first trimester and into the second. I had to march and run, and play, and get moving! With my son’s pregnancy, I tried to take my twins on walks to the park and back until the weather got too cold. With my current pregnancy, I had been running (up to three miles) and going to the gym a few times a week, and continued to go and run and lift weights through the entire first trimester. So, overall, I am not some crazy exercise guru, nor do I really understand how the human body works, but I do know that exercising while pregnant is fantastic for both you and the baby, as long as you do it safely, and do it right. Even if you only exercise during part of your pregnancy, or weren’t really active before, the benefits add up. But, you don’t want to injure yourself, or potentially injure your baby. So, I looked up some tips, advice, and even resources on how to exercise during pregnancy the right way.
Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
But, first let’s talk perks!
Benefits of Exercising While Pregnant for Mom
Exercise when you aren’t pregnant is good for you, and while you are pregnant it can be more so, as it can help ease or prevent some of the common aches and pains associated with pregnancy. Exercising while pregnant can help alleviate back pain, increase stamina, energy levels, and muscle strength. Getting up and moving can also help with circulation issues, leg cramps, constipation, and overall fatigue. Oh, and it lessens your chance of getting gestational diabetes and pregnancy-related high blood pressure (both which can make for high-risk and scary pregnancies). Plus, it boosts your mood, lessening symptoms of prenatal and postpartum depression, especially if you exercise outdoors. And chances are you will sleep better and prevent excess weight gain, which means a faster recovery after birth. And that birth will likely be easier, often greatly decreasing your risks of assisted deliveries and C-Sections.
Benefits of Exercising While Pregnant for Baby
While exercising certainly helps the expecting moms to feel better and be healthier, their babies also benefit! You little baby will probably be a healthier weight and have a healthier heart, and even be smarter.
Prenatal Exercise Safety
For the most part, you can do most exercises you did before you were pregnant, with a few exceptions that are generally put into place to protect the baby.
Exercises to Avoid When Pregnant
Contact sports, like soccer , basketball, hockey, and football, should be avoided, so no one accidentally elbows or shoves into your belly at a quick pace.
Things that take extra balance or coordination like bike riding (although stationary bikes are fine), horse back riding, down-hill skiing, gymnastics, or water-skiing, should be avoided in case of hard falls. Also sports that require you to change your center of gravity quickly, like tennis or racquetball, should be avoided because your balance is affected when you are pregnant.
And you should definitely avoid scuba diving as the pressure can result in birth defects.
Otherwise there are just some general modifications you need to be sure to make or consider when you are pregnant, like not lying down flat on your back after the first trimester (as it can restrict blood flow to the fetus) and not lying down flat on your stomach. And you shouldn’t hold your breath during weight training or yoga or other exercises, and be sure you aren’t straining it really hard with the weights!
And in general, avoid any activities your doctor tells you to avoid. I am not a medical professional, and as always, you should consult your doctor if you have any questions about exercise during pregnancy.
General safety tips
Most of us probably don’t remember the last time we played a contact sport, did heavy lifting, or went horse back riding, so for most of us, we just need to be aware of some good safety tips as we do other aerobic exercises, sports, and activities while pregnant.
Know Your (New) Pregnant Body
First, know your body! Be aware of its new needs and your new levels of stamina. Making a baby is harder than you think! So stop when something feels off, or you get lightheaded, or very warm or feel like you are pushing too hard. The goal of exercise during pregnancy isn’t to get into the best shape of your life (which is funny cause that shape is a little funny looking with a protruding belly). It’s to be healthy and fit, not lose weight or bulk up muscles.
You should also know where your fitness level is currently at and don’t overexert yourself or hurt yourself.
If you already had an exercise program in place before getting pregnant, you can most likely continue doing the exact same things, given that they aren’t some of the activities listed above and you avoid certain positions, and listen to your changing body. If you didn’t exercise much before, start slow and build up to longer walks and swims and heavier weights over your pregnancy, and be sure to stretch and rest.
Another great idea is to look into maternity workout clothes that are made to better support your belly. I have tried out and loved clothes from Mumberry for working out while pregnant.
Staying hydrating while pregnant is always important, but more so when you are exercising. Water is necessary to you and your baby. Drinking water helps ensure the amniotic fluid levels don’t go too low around your baby. And when you are pregnant, your blood volume increases dramatically, nearly 50 percent, and your heart will be pumping overtime. That’s why it’s imperative you are consuming enough water! Your blood and body need it!
Not having enough water while pregnant can lead to edema, dizziness, fatigue, more acne, headaches, urinary tract infections, blood pressure issues, constipation, and dehydration.
One solution is to rehydrate with DripDrop after you exercise or whenever you feel dehydrated. DripDrop is a simple, safe, cost-effective re-hydrating solution that treats mild to moderate dehydration. You can try it out for yourself by picking it up at CVS (in the baby aisle) and using a $1 off coupon (expires 02/21/2015) while supplies last.
I’ve been using it for a few months now, and find it helps hydrate me much better than a sports drink after my workouts. Sometimes I’ve drank some because I have a headache (especially now that I am pregnant) caused by not drinking enough water. The good thing is that it’s a tasty drink, and helps me feel better relatively quick.
It is said that you should drink about half your weight in ounces of water each day. So if I weigh 145 lbs, I should drink about 72 ounces of water each day, or about 4.5 bottles of water (16.9 fl. oz. bottles). But, that’s when you aren’t pregnant and aren’t exerting yourself physically. When you workout, and when you are pregnant, you should be drinking more than that to stay properly hydrated. And that can be rough! I tried doing a water challenge two weeks ago with some friends, where I was trying to just drink those 4.5 bottles, and I never made it! Plus, drinking a lot of water when you are pregnant can mean even more trips to the bathroom, which can be challenging.
But staying hydrated while an exercising pregnant woman is very important to your health! So guzzle that water, rehydrate with DripDrop when you don’t meet your water goals, and avoid sugary drinks like sodas and teas, and even a lot of juices (as these can attribute to gestational diabetes, as well as cause cavities as your teeth are more sensitive during pregnancy).
Having the proper diet before and after a workout will help replenish nutrients and help you recover better from your exercise. So, be sure to look over my previous post about the Best Things to Eat and Drink Before and After a Workout for some good foods to chow down on.
Great Exercises to Do While Pregnant
Aerobic exercises like walking, swimming, biking (on a stationary bike), running, using an elliptical machine, doing Zumba, yoga, Pilates, and so on are perfect exercises while you are pregnant. They are also low-impact exercises. Weight training is also good, as are certain exercises like squats that work to strengthen that pelvis floor in preparation for childbirth, like squats.. As long as you feel comfortable doing the exercises and routines, and are okayed by your doctor to them, go have fun and be active.
If you have a hard time getting out of your house to workout and lack adequate workout materials at home (aka a home gym), then here are some other resources to look into:
- Pregnancy-specific workout videos from the library or that can be borrowed from a friend
- Non pregnancy-specific workout videos that offer modifications (Amazon Prime offers exercise videos).
- Youtube Pregnancy Exercise Routines
- Workouts you can find on Pinterest (search fit pregnancy and pregnancy workouts)
But, walking around Target for 30 minutes can can count toward your exercise goals during pregnancy, too.
What is your favorite exercise to do while pregnant? Have you had a fit pregnancy before? Has it made a difference?