Staying fit while pregnant not only reduces the risk of putting on too much weight, but it also prepares your body for labor and the birth of your baby. Staying fit while pregnant also helps you bounce back to your pre-baby weight and size a lot quicker. The American College of Sports Medicine notes that a healthy woman with a normal pregnancy may either continue her regular exercise regimen or begin a new exercise program during pregnancy. Speak to your doctor to determine which cardio and toning exercises are right for you.
Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables and whole grains. According to BabyCenter.com, a woman should gain 1 to 5 pounds during her first trimester and 1 pound per week throughout the rest of the pregnancy.
Do low- to moderate-impact cardio regularly. Cardio workouts, such as swimming, walking and aerobics, help keep your stomach and other parts of your body trimmed and toned.
Sign up for a prenatal yoga class. Certain yoga poses, such as the pelvic tilt, downward-facing dog and cat-cow, strengthen your abdominal muscles as well as ease aches and pains.
Do Kegels. As your baby continues to grow, he will place undue pressure on your stomach and bladder, thus increasing the risk of bladder control problems. Kegels help strengthen the muscles used to start and stop urination as well as help push the baby out. Perform Kegels while sitting at your desk or relaxing on the couch.
Avoid situps and crunches throughout your pregnancy. Lying on your back can limit the amount of blood and nutrients sent to your baby. This position can negatively impact your blood pressure as well.
Speak to your doctor before starting any kind of exercise program while pregnant. Always spend a few minutes warming up and cooling down. Wear comfortable and supportive shoes and clothing when exercising. Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water.
Avoid exercising at an intense pace. If you exercise so hard that you can't breathe, chances are your baby can't breathe either. Stop exercising immediately if you experience chest pain, dizziness, fatigue, vaginal bleeding, contractions or shortness of breath.
- American Pregnancy Association: Top Recommended Exercises
- KidsHealth: Exercising During Pregnancy
- ACSM Current Comment: Exercise During Pregnancy
- BabyCenter; Great Pregnancy Exercise: Prenatal Yoga; November 2009
- BabyCenter.com: Pregnancy weight gain: What to expect
- BabyCenter: Is It Safe to Do Sit-ups or Abdominal Crunches During Pregnancy?
- American Pregnancy Association: Exercise Guidelines During Pregnancy