If you’ve been able to conceive a little one, congratulations! Many of us know both the excitement and the fear that comes with those words. For too many, conception is not terribly hard, but keeping the little one tucked inside tightly is. Or maybe conception has been a challenge for months or years, and we want to be sure to keep the baby as safe as we can. Many miscarriages happen without any rhyme or reason, so no need to put added pressure or guilt on yourself by avoiding activities like working out. In fact, it can be good to exercise during pregnancy, so long as you don’t take your workouts to extreme levels your body isn’t used to. If you want to keep your body healthy and ready it for labor and delivery, you can absolutely exercise. Here are some things to keep in mind during your pregnancy workouts.
Tips for Exercising During Pregnancy
Only tackle what you can handle. Nausea getting to you? Go for a slow walk. Exhaustion creeping in? Maybe just some stretches and a couple of yoga poses. If you don’t feel well, a nap is completely doable and what your body needs instead of a workout.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. You’ve got twice as much blood pumping in your system, so you need to make sure you are fully hydrated before you workout, and keep up on your water consumption during and after as well. Try to be drinking 10 glasses of water every day, and add another glass for every hour you plan to workout.
Snacking is the name of the game. Your blood sugar can drop suddenly, resulting in feeling dizzy or sick to your stomach. Keep snacks nearby. You might also find as you burn calories right in the middle of a workout you get ravenously hungry. Have a granola bar nearby you can stop to eat if you need to.
Keep cool. Overheating is something you should avoid during pregnancy, as your baby is already quite warm inside your belly. Hot yoga, saunas, and hot tubs should all be avoided. If you’re on vacation somewhere in the hot hot sun, try cooling off in the pool (which takes all the weight off your back and feet!) rather than going for a run.
Kegels help. You probably knew we’d bring this up, but one of the best ways to prepare your body for labor and delivery is to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Easiest to activate by acting like you’re trying to stop urinating, work to do three sets of ten every day, holding for 10 seconds each. You can start when you’re lying down, working toward completing them while sitting, and then standing.
We hope if you’ve had the good news of a positive pregnancy test, you’ll use the time to try to destress and be excited without too much worrying. Exercise can help you feel better, give you energy, and maintain a healthy body and prep for delivery. If you’d like to talk to a fertility specialist about trying to conceive, or learn more about what you should do during the early days of pregnancy, please contact us anytime at 717-747-3099 or click on the button below. If you’re looking for some basic information about our practice, you can check out our free webinar here.
Dr. Melanie Ochalski