Exercise and Safety
Be careful to avoid activities that increase your risk of fall or injury, such as contact sports or vigorous sports. Even mild injuries to the "tummy" area can be serious when you're pregnant. After the first 3 months of pregnancy, it's best to avoid exercising while lying on your back, since the weight of the baby may interfere with blood circulation. Also avoid long periods of standing.
Here are some tips to keep in mind to make your exercise routine safe for your pregnancy:
1. start slow : now isn’t the time to prepare for a marathon; you need to warm up to a maximum of 30 minutes of exercise per day.
2. stay cool : when it’s warm outside, exercise in the early morning or late evening to avoid getting overheated; also be sure that the area is properly ventilated and that you’re drinking enough water.
3. drink water : this is the best precautionary step you can take, so remember to drink lots of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
4. monitor yourself : your heart rate shouldn’t exceed 140 beats/minute, because that means your baby’s heart rate is being elevated; remember, if your heart rate or breathing get out of hand, slow down or throw in the towel.
5. lower your expectations : that’s right, as your pregnancy progresses, you need to reduce the intensity level of your work out because you’re carrying extra weight.
6. kegels, kegels, kegels : doing kegels means that you’re keeping your pelvic floor taut, the way it should be. The weight of your uterus can stretch out the pelvic floor and cause your bladder to drop down and may signal incontinence later on in life. Do kegels on the bus, at your desk or while preparing a meal — just do them!
Warning Signs to Stop Exercising
Even if you’re taking it slow and steady, your exercise routine may be too much for your new condition. These are some warning signs that mean you need to stop exercising:
- shortness of breath
- dim or blurry vision
- chest pain
- severe headache that won’t go away
- sudden or severe abdominal or vaginal pain
- blood or fluid coming from your vagina
If these symptoms occur, stop exercising and contact your doctor concerning your exercise routine and your health.
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