Exercising while pregnant sounds about as much fun as watching paint dry. You're tired, you possibly have various pregnancy symptoms and you don't really see the point of exercising since you're going to be gaining weight anyway. Exercising while pregnant has many benefits though. Experts advise that moms-to-be get at least 30 minutes a day throughout their pregnancy. Finding the motivation to do so though may be tough but these tips will help.
Do what you can - Pregnancy is different for everyone which means there is no standard program for exercising. The best advice is just to do what you can when you can. If in your first trimester when you're spending most of your time-fighting morning sickness, aim to start in your second trimester. If you feel mostly fine during your first trimester except for fatigue, then plan to exercise on the days or times that you have the most energy. Don't force yourself to adhere to a certain time limit either. If you feel great and can squeeze in 30 minutes one day that is awesome, but if you can only manage 10 minutes on another day, don't beat yourself up.
Aim for low-impact exercises - Exercise while pregnant is going to look different than exercise before. When doing strength training, you'll want to make sure to use lighter weights, 10lbs max. You'll also want to do fewer reps than you normally do. If you were a runner before pregnancy, you can continue to do so after. You'll just want to make sure to beware of your balance as your body grows. There's no shame in fluctuating between running and walking either. If you were not a runner before becoming pregnant, walking or climbing stairs will do the job just as well. Exercise programs geared for pregnancy are perfect for pregnant women who don't really know what to do and want a full-body workout.
Listen to your body - If you were an avid exerciser before pregnancy, you might be used to pushing through the pain. You should never push through the pain when you're pregnant. That doesn't mean that you can't break a sweat or work hard, just that when your body is telling you to stop, you should stop. You can always pick up later that day or another day.
Hydrate - You should always hydrate while exercising but be extra diligent in doing so while pregnant. If your bladder has become the size of a pea, you may find this annoying but it's extremely important. Staying hydrated while pregnant is vital to making sure that your baby is getting proper blood flow and has enough amniotic fluid. These crucial functions are what's needed to make sure your baby has all the nutrients that they need to thrive and grow.
Remember why you're doing it - When you've exercised in the past, you may have been doing it primarily to lose weight but now you're doing it to stay healthy. Studies have shown that moms who exercise throughout their pregnancies are at a lower risk of conditions like pre-eclampsia which could lead to early delivery and a premature baby. Exercising while pregnant will help your body stay strong which will be needed as you pack on the extra pounds. It can also help with post-partum weight loss and getting back into the swing of exercising after delivery!
Before beginning to exercise while pregnant, you should always speak with your doctor. Even if you feel fine or exercised throughout a previous pregnancy, it doesn't hurt to have a conversation with your doctor. More likely than not, they'll tell you that it's okay and may even recommend it. Checking in with them first is just a good way to be safe rather than sorry.