Pregnancy and exercise
Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life. Very often, first time “moms” are uncertain about a great number of things. One of course being, “Will I ever be the same again?!?”
The answer to that is certainly not. Going from woman to mother will change you forever in a wonderful way. Other questions that most women may have concern exercise and the safety of the unborn child.
Let me first say that you should always consult your physician, gynecologist, or obstetrician about your concerns and before changing or beginning a fitness program. You should always keep your physician and personal trainer advised of any discomforts or changes you might experience. And also as a personal trainer, he/ she should also communicate and work with your physician’s recommendations to safeguard you and your child’s health and well-being.
As far as exercise is concerned, most women should be able to continue exercising without much difficulty during the first trimester, while morning sickness, mild weight gain, and fatigue might sideline some, most women should be able to continue their normal exercise program. However, exercise in the supine (lying face upward) position should be performed with caution and possibly even avoided after the first trimester. As pregnancy progresses, it seems that the heart is less able to adapt to the increased demand, especially in the supine (lying face upward) position, because in pregnant women the heart may already be working at a higher level due to the increased demands of pregnancy. This is why pregnant women should be discouraged from exercising at high levels or participating in activities requiring sudden burst of movement. Numerous studies of the cardiovascular responses of pregnant women have shown that women can maintain and even improve their cardiovascular, respiratory, and aerobic capacities during pregnancy.
Pregnant exercisers need to be aware of the ambient temperature prior to each workout, since body temperature regulation is more difficult for them. Exercise increases the body’s temperature, which can be harmful to the fetus if the body’s core temperature exceeds 100 degrees F (38 degrees C).
Here are some suggestions that will help you in choosing or designing an exercising program.
1. Exercise goals during pregnancy should be discussed with a physician.
2. Do not begin a vigorous exercise program shortly before or during pregnancy.
3.Gradually decrease the intensity, duration, and frequency of exercise during the second and third trimester.
4.Avoid exercise when the temperature and/or humidity is high.
5. Try to run or walk on flat, even surfaces.
6. Wear supportive shoes while walking or running during pregnancy.
7. If running becomes uncomfortable during the second and third trimester, try some other forms of aerobic exercise, such as swimming, running in water, and bicycling.
8. Extend warm up and cool down periods.
9. Body temperature, which should not exceed 100 degrees F (38 degrees C), should be taken immediately after exercise.
10. Choose an intensity that is comfortable; a pounding heart rate, breathlessness, or dizziness are indicators that the intensity should be reduced.
11. Eat a small snack before exercise to avoid help hypoglycemia.
12. Drink plenty of before, during, and after exercise.
13. Avoid overstretching or going beyond normal range of motion.
14. Any unusual physical changes, such as vaginal bleeding, severe fatigue, joint pain, or irregular heartbeats, should be reported to your physician.
Thank you for your time and attention, and congratulations and good luck on this and all your lifestyle changes. Thanks again.