You can continue to exercise & workout when pregnant, but there are six things you must know before doing so.
Pregnant but desire to stick with a fitness routine? It is possible. Before beginning, you need to recognise that every person and every pregnancy is different—I have been blessed, both in luck and in genetics, in not having morning sickness throughout my pregnancy, and with only a general feeling of exhaustion during my first trimester. So, even if you are keeling over the toilet seat, aim for a daily 20-minute walk. As the saying goes, ‘A little bit is better than nothing’.
- Drink more water
- Drink about 10-12 glasses of water a day. You need more water to maintain blood sugar level, which prevents further nausea and dizziness
- If you are more active, follow the general rule of thumb which is one additional glass of water per 30 minutes of exercise
- Avoid overheating
- Stay out of hot rooms including hot yoga classes of any form, saunas or steam room
- Everything in Moderation
- Rest time is just as important as workout time, so make sure you are getting enough time for recovery
- Let go of 1km swims or 20km runs, particularly in the first trimester. However, if your body can handle this, then make sure you are consuming enough calories and resting enough as well for baby to grow!
- Go with what you know
- Be extra careful about falls and collisions; avoid cycling, running, tennis, or any high-impact exercises particularly if they were not in your routine before. This is definitely not the time to introduce a completely new exercise regime
- Most health practitioners will tell you that swimming, pre-natal yoga, Pilates, and power-walking are good for you. These are all exercises that increase cardiovascular strength, build the right muscle, create mind-body connection, and allow for optimal foetal position for later stages of pregnancy
- Listen to your body
- As your body changes during the next nine months, so will your exercise routine and practice. You will realise that there were movements you were able to do before, which you find more challenging now. It is not the end of the world—your body will bounce back, and you can get started again, ideally within six weeks post-natal.
- Check in with your doctor given your physical limitations, particularly if you have:
- Significant heart or lung disease
- Incompetent cervix
- Persistent second or third trimester bleeding
- Multiple gestation at risk for premature labour
- Ruptured membranes
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension
Placenta previa after 26 weeks