Can Preggers Pump Iron?

While it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for motherhood, supermoms need to play it safe too.
Can Preggers Pump Iron?

Engaging in regular exercise during your pregnancy helps to keep your energy levels high and also prepares you for childbirth. However, many pregnant women worry about the risks involved. The good news is that there is no evidence to suggest that exercising during pregnancy can harm the unborn child or lead to health complications. This is based on an analysis of different studies on vigorous exercise such as floor exercises and swimming. Experts recommend moderate exercise such as yoga, walking or jogging three times a week. The goal of such exercise is to keep your fitness levels steady.

Weight training

Weight training is also a good way to keep fit during pregnancy. As with other forms of exercise during pregnancy, the aim is not to achieve any dramatic gains, but to maintain strength and energy levels. It’s advisable to share your exercise regimen with your doctor who can then suggest any necessary modifications based on your health. To avoid straining the joints, do more repetitions with lighter weights. Exercise caution when using free weights to keep them from hitting against your belly. You can even eliminate this risk by using resistance bands. As long as you listen to your doctor’s advice, take proper precautions and avoid straining your body too much, you should be able to engage in weight training safely during your pregnancy.

Here are some tips to keep you and your baby safe while exercising:

  • In pregnancy, there is a 25 percent increase in resting heart rate since the heart has to work harder to accommodate fetal growth. Therefore it is advisable to monitor your heart rate during exercise. Women between the ages of 20 and 40 years should keep their heart rate at 135 to 150 beats per second. Women above 40 years should maintain 125 to 140 beats per second.
  • You are likely to burn more calories while exercising; therefore you need to get adequate nutrition. Weight gain is natural during pregnancy and your doctor will help you maintain a health weight as your pregnancy progresses.
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothes while exercising. Opt for athletic shoes that fit properly and support your feet well. Wearing a well-fitting maternity bra is also helpful.
  • Remember to warm up before beginning your routine to prepare your joints and muscles. This will also prevent sprains and aches after your workout.
  • Drink adequate water before and after exercise, and also stop to take a sip or two during your workout. This protects your body from dehydration.
  • While doing yoga or weight training, avoid standing in one spot for a long period of time. This may affect blood flow to the uterus and legs, leading to dizziness. Walk about or keep changing positions.
  • After your workout, walk in place or do some light stretching to cool your body down. This will help stabilize your heart rate and also relieve sore muscles.

Pregnancy changes the center of gravity and hence to avoid tripping or falling, avoid any sort of exercise that requires a great deal of balance. Contact sports and high altitude or underwater activities are also not recommended during pregnancy. You should avoid exercises that require you to lie flat on your back as this can lower your blood pressure levels and it could even cause you to faint. Running is a preferred form of exercise since the baby is protected by fluid in the womb and this provides insulation from outside movements. However, women prone to aches and pains in their hips, knees and back should not run as it is a high-impact activity and it is likely to put excess strain on the joints which are already in the process of softening in preparation for childbirth.

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