New to Healthy by Choices? Take a look around and then sign up for inspirational, informational emails and never miss a thing!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pregnancy and Exercise: Part II

This is the second post in a series. The series is dedicated to exercising while pregnant, and there is a lot to know, so keep reading! Not pregnant? Share this series with someone who might be. But I warn you, if you are sharing this with your pregnant wife, TREAD CAREFULLY (she may take it the wrong way)!

If you choose to exercise while you are pregnant, you will experience benefits you might not have otherwise thought possible. But there is special care to be taken when you are pregnant, situations to avoid and warning signs to watch for. Once you are familiar and comfortable with these situations, you can head out the door and start working towards those benefits!

Exercises to Avoid while Pregnant:

Any kind of contact sport, exercise at high elevation (unless you do that everyday already), scuba diving, or anything where you might risk a fall (including a bike). Most other types of activity are fine, as long as you participated regularly before you were pregnant (including step aerobics!)

Conditions to Avoid while Pregnant and Exercising:

The pregnant body is very sensitive to conditions that are too warm, and will signal your hasty retreat, or at least the removal of layers before any danger is present. Therefore, contrary to past concerns, pregnant women do not run the risk of developing dangerously high core temperatures during exercise as long the following precautions are taken:

o Exercise in a climate controlled environment or avoid hot/humid conditions.
o Discontinue exercise if symptoms of overheating occur (lightheadedness, nausea, faintness, excessive sweating and feeling uncomfortably hot).
o Avoid exercising for a prolonged period of time at a high intensity.
o Maintain hydration with 12 glasses of water per day, and more in hot weather (urine should be the color of light lemonade).

Signs to stop exercising:

Still worried about exercising during pregnancy? Don't forget that pregnancy is a normal sign of a healthy person (in most cases), and while you may feel otherwise occasionally, there is no reason to treat your body otherwise. But, before you start exercising, get the OK from your doctor. He or she may have concerns they have not shared with you regarding reasons you should not exercise.

After you receive permission, get started by doing the things that you enjoy - no matter the week or month of pregnancy you are in.

Here are the warning signs to stop exercising when pregnant. If you experience these things while you are exercising, please stop and check with your doctor.
-Vaginal bleeding
-Pre term labor
-Heartburn prior to exertion
-Decreased fetal movement
-Amniotic fluid leakage
-Calf Pain or swelling
-Chest pain
-Muscle Weakness

Check out Paula Radcliffe for some exciting inspiration! She completed AND WON the NYC marathon 10 months after giving birth.

Next up in this series: The Cardio FITT Formula for Pregnancy, Strength Training and Flexiblity!

No comments: