Dear Pregnant Mama,
Now that you’re pregnant, you may be scared to continue exercising. Most women know that exercise during pregnancy is safe, but myths and misconceptions still exist, many of which hold women back from having the healthiest pregnancy possible.
There is a lot of fear out there that stops pregnant women from exercising.
But did you know that exercising during pregnancy has some amazing benefits?
Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy:
- Detoxifying the body
- Increasing insulin sensitivity
- Reducing stress
- Increasing energy level and mental clarity
- Boosting metabolism
- Improving cardiovascular function
- Helping the brain gain better control over the body
- Maintaining appropriate weight gain
- Control Blood Pressure
- Reduce Nausea
- Fight Pregnancy Acne
- Boost Your Immune System
- Prevent Leg Cramping
- Beat Heartburn
- Avoid Incontinence
- Improve Cardiovascular Health & Circulation
- Increase Energy Levels
- Help You Sleep
When it comes to exercise while pregnant, being inactive is the real risk!
The benefits of prenatal exercise are undisputed – for both mom and baby. In fact, many experts say that being inactive is the real risk leading to high blood pressure, excessive aches and pains, and a high risk for gestational diabetes. It will also give you a healthy buzz helping you feel better physically and emotionally, and the calories burned can help prevent the outrageous weight gain.
Following BeyondFit Life during your pregnancy will also help you cope during the postpartum period (another stressful period!) and keep the “baby blues” at bay. All good stuff to get excited over!
BeyondFit Life workouts – modified as needed – will help you AND your baby stay healthy!
During the first trimester, provided that your doctor does not give you any limitations, it should be safe to exercise as you did normally before pregnancy. But as your belly grows, there are some pregnancy modifications that you need to be aware of.
BeyondFit Pregnancy Workout Modifications by Trimester:
- In the 1st trimester, avoid high impact BOUNCING/JUMPING movements that may be jarring.
- Beginning in the 2nd trimester, avoid lying flat on your back and stomach as this can restrict blood flow to the baby.
- In the 3rd trimester, DOUBLE CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR to make sure that you are health and cleared to continue resistance training from now until you deliver, assuming there are no complications.
- Breathing – Always exhale on exertion and never hold your breath as this causes internal abdominal pressure.
- Stay Moving – Standing still during or after a workout can lead to blood pooling in your legs. For pregnant women who already have an increased blood volume, it’s important to avoid standing still for too long. Incorporate hybrid exercise moves that add upper and lower body strength training into one quick exercise, and finish your workout with a stretch, foam rolling, or slow 5-10 leisurely minute walk to cool down.
- Take the Breath Test – Be careful not to exercise to exhaustion while pregnant. You should be able to carry on a conversation at all times.
- Engage Your Core – At the start of each exercise, contract your abdominal muscles by squeezing your bellybutton to your spine. Maintain the compression of the abdominal wall throughout your repetitions.
- Maintain Neutral Spine – Don’t flatten your lower back or arch your spine, or allow the spine to wobble or twist during any exercises. If needed, don’t be afraid to lower the resistance or weight as pregnancy progresses. Never sacrifice good form just to lift heavier weights.
- Rest – Take plenty of rests as needed throughout your workout and remember to stay hydrated!
Pregnancy Modifications F.A.Q.
Running: I loved running sprints during both of my pregnancies. A short (10 minute) sprint workout once/week was enjoyable and kept me conditioned. But with a giant belly, sometimes running can be uncomfortable. Here are some tips to help:
- Invest in a quality sports bra for some extra support – Toward the end of the first trimester you’ll notice that your belly isn’t the only thing expanding. So having a good chest support will minimize discomfort when running.
- Consider belly support – Depending on where you’re carrying (low vs. high) you may notice lower back pain after running. If that’s the case, a belly support band or workout tank may help relieve some of the pressure that your growing bump is placing on your lower back.
- Embrace the intervals – One thing that I love about sprints is that I don’t have to RUN for the whole time. Interval training with a run, following by a walk/recovery period is perfect for pregnant women. If running sprints is too much, you can substitute another cardio or metabolic conditioning exercise like swimming in place of the runs.
Squats: If you experience ligament pain during pregnancy you may notice that squatting becomes increasingly difficult. In order to avoid injury, here are a few pregnancy modifications to consider as needed:
- Lower the weight – Squats are an amazing pregnant women as you’re preparing for labor. If weighted squats become too much, consider lowering the weight that you’re using, or forgoing weighted squats all together and incorporating bodyweight squats into your routine, Remember your body is already hauling around a lot of extra weight.
- Elevate your feet – Rolling up a towel under your feet is a great modification if you have a hard time keeping your heels flat during a squat.
- Watch your knees – Whenever you’re squatting, always ensure that your knees never come past your toes.
Remember to pay attention to your body first and foremost.
- Do not start anything new without first checking with your doctor.
- Be sure to get clearance from your doctor before starting this workout program.
- Wear comfortable clothes and stable supportive athletic sneakers.
- Be sure to hydrate before, during and after exercise. Avoid excessive sweating which can lead to dehydration.
- Be sure to eat a small meal within 30 minutes of training to avoid low blood sugar levels.
- Listen to your body. If you need rest, then REST!
Here are some more tips for a fit and healthy pregnancy:
- ENERGY: Read more about how to keep your energy up…
- MORNING SICKNESS: How to get past the first trimester nausea…
- INCREASING APPETITE: How to avoid eating everything in sight…
- PREGNANCY WEIGHT GAIN: How much weight you should expect to gain…
- ANEMIA: 4 Tips to Help with Pregnancy Anemia…
- NASAL ISSUES: Natural tips for nasal issues (oh that stuffiness is annoying!)…
- BACK PAIN: 4 Activities to Relieve Pregnancy Back Pain: Strength train, Stretch, Walk, Pelvic Tilts….
- SLEEP TROUBLE: Sleep Solutions…
- HYDRATION: 4 Reasons to You Need Water During Pregnancy (and tips to get that water in)…
- SWELLING: 3 Tips to Reduce Pregnancy Swelling….
- HEARTBURN: 5 Tips to Ease Pregnancy Heartburn…
- PELVIC PAIN: 3 Tips to reduce Pelvic Pain during Pregnancy…
- PREGNANCY BRAIN: My favorite choline rich foods…
- LEG CRAMPS: 6 Tips to Avoid Pregnancy Leg Cramps…
- GESTATIONAL DIABETES TEST: The gestational diabetes test alternative that I used to ensure a healthy baby (and mama) during this pregnancy…
- CONSTIPATION: 5 tips for preventing pregnancy constipation…
- STRETCH MARKS: 6 Tips to Prevent (or Help Reduce) Stretch Marks During Pregnancy….
- SHORTNESS OF BREATH: 3 Tips for Pregnancy Shortness of Breath…
- ITCHY BELLY: How to avoid scratching an itchy belly (it makes stretch marks worse!)…
- HEALTHY FATS: 4 Ways to Get Your Omega-3 Fatty Acids During Pregnancy…
- HEALTHY SNACKS: 10 nutrient-packed HEALTHY PREGNANCY SNACKS…
- COMFORT FOOD CRAVINGS: A few of my pregnancy comfort food cravings turned healthy….
- HOSPITAL BAG PACKING LIST: Everything you need to pack for mommy, daddy & baby….
- COLD & FLU: Help speed up your recovery and ease your symptoms naturally…
More resources for pregnant mamas: