Hey there, lovely moms-to-be!
There’s a certain level of freakout that comes with your firstborn (trust me, I’ve been there). The fact that you created a human is so exciting, but there are also a lot of unknowns, and your mind starts to become flooded with questions like, What should I eat? What prenatal vitamins should I take? And, of course, Is this normal?
But, as a fitness instructor, the question that pregnant women always ask me is: Should I stop working out while I’m pregnant? And if not, what modifications do I need to make?
The journey of pregnancy brings many changes, but one thing that stays constant is the importance of taking care of your body and keeping up with physical activity.
So, let’s dive in to answer this question of many expectant mothers!
Importance of Exercise During Pregnancy
First things first, staying physically active during pregnancy offers numerous benefits for both you and your baby. Regular exercise can help alleviate common discomforts such as back pain, fatigue, and swelling. It can also improve your mood, boost energy levels, promote better sleep, and increase your overall strength and stamina, which will come in handy during labor. Maintaining a healthy exercise routine can also contribute to a smoother postpartum recovery.
Plus, by taking care of your own health and well-being through exercise, you’re also nurturing your baby’s well-being. Studies have found that exercise during pregnancy can actually be really beneficial to your little one, providing them with enhanced oxygen & nutrient supply, reduced risk of excessive birth weight, improved brain development, lowered risk of gestational diabetes, decreased risk of childhood obesity, and positive emotional environment.
Consult with Your Healthcare Provider
Before making any changes to your exercise program, it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider. They will be able to assess your individual situation and provide personalized guidance based on your medical history and any potential risk factors. Their recommendations will be invaluable in ensuring the safety and well-being of both you and your baby throughout your pregnancy journey.
Modifications for Your Exercise Routine
Once you’ve received the green light from your healthcare provider, there are a few key modifications to keep in mind when it comes to your exercise routine:
- Listen to Your Body.
Pregnancy is a unique experience, and it’s important to tune in to your body’s cues. Pay attention to how you feel during exercise. If something doesn’t feel right or causes discomfort, modify or stop the activity altogether.
- Choose Low-Impact Activities.
Opt for low-impact exercises that are gentle on your joints and minimize the risk of injury. We offer a variety of low-impact options at McClure Fitness, including Pi/Yo, Barre, and Spin. Other great options you can do outside the gym include brisk walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga. These activities provide cardiovascular benefits and help maintain muscle tone without placing excessive stress on your body.
- Prioritize Core and Pelvic Floor Exercises.
As your baby grows, your core and pelvic floor muscles undergo significant changes. Strengthening these muscles can help support your growing belly, improve stability, and reduce the risk of complications such as diastasis recti and incontinence. Be sure to talk with your fitness instructor, so they can guide you through safe and effective exercises targeting these areas.
- Stay Hydrated and Cool.
It’s essential to stay hydrated during exercise to prevent dehydration and overheating. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. Avoid exercising in hot and humid conditions, as this can increase the risk of overheating. Listen to your body and take breaks when needed.
- Monitor Warning Signs.
While exercise is generally safe during pregnancy, it’s important to be aware of warning signs that may indicate you need to stop and seek medical attention. These include dizziness, chest pain, severe shortness of breath, vaginal bleeding, contractions, or leaking of amniotic fluid. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop exercising immediately and contact your healthcare provider.
McClure Fitness Is Here for You Throughout Your Pregnancy.
So to all of you moms-to-be, know that maintaining an exercise routine during your pregnancy is not only safe but highly beneficial for both you and your baby. Remember, the key is to listen to your body, make the necessary modifications, and enjoy the incredible journey of pregnancy.
McClure Fitness is here to support you every step of the way, offering inspiration, encouragement, and guidance to help you stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Whether you work out with us in person at our Benton gym or you sweat it out with McClure Fitness Online, you can count on us to provide you with the exercises you need to stay safe and fit during your pregnancy.
So, stay fit, stay strong, and embrace the amazing changes happening within you. You’ve got this, mama!