Let’s answer the big questions first:
Exercising while adjusting to pregnancy can be daunting, and there is a lot of conflicting information out there. So here are three easy tips to help you continue your fitness journey while also growing baby!
(As always, consult your physician before beginning a new exercise program and to ensure that you are medically cleared for physical activity.)
Tip 1: Find a pregnancy-safe exercise that you enjoy and stick with it.
Most workouts can be made pregnancy friendly; however, I caution clients against exercise routines that require good balance or that pose a risk of falling. We want to minimize any risk of abdominal trauma. For example, if your favorite way to get your endorphin fix is karate, you can still participate; however, modifications will be needed. On the other hand, other exercises like running and swimming require little-to-no modifications to be pregnancy friendly.
Tip 2: Pay attention to how you feel during workouts.
During pregnancy, your heart rate does not respond as it typically would to exercise. Set the intensity of exercise based on how it makes you feel. Your goal shouldn’t be a certain speed, time, or number of reps, but rather the feeling that the exercise is moderate to somewhat difficult. Adjust throughout your workout to ensure you are at an intensity that feels right.
Tip 3: Notice your body’s signals over time.
Two signs I tell pregnant clients to watch for include extreme fatigue and a lack of weight gain. If you’re feeling over tired, or you’re not gaining weight as your pregnancy progresses, you should consider decreasing your exercise activity.
I have found that encouraging clients to participate in movement that feels good to them results in clients becoming empowered and connected with their body, even throug all the changes pregnancy brings. If you have a specific exercise that you can no longer enjoy because of pregnancy, or new aches and pains that have arisen because of baby, Heal at Home Physio is here to help!