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5 Important tips for exercising while pregnant

Congratulations! You are about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. But there's no need to kick your exercise routine to the curb once you conceive.

pregnant woman doing exercises

In fact, choosing to exercise during your pregnancy is a great investment in your health and your baby's health. Exercising while pregnant will keep your weight gain under control, increase your energy, improve your quality of sleep, help with those nagging pregnancy discomforts and, most importantly, help prepare you for the demands of labor.

Before beginning any prenatal exercise program, make sure to get medical clearance from your doctor. At Belly-n-Kicks we have a simple form to have your doctor fill out.

What's the best way to exercise?

Pregnancy is a challenge for your body so you do not need to be exercising at a competitive level. However, you can absolutely continue on with your regular exercise regimen, just with a few modifications:

  • Avoid any activities that might be dangerous. You can put the skiing, rock climbing, scuba diving, etc. on hold until after your pregnancy.
  • Avoid exercising at high altitudes, about 6,000 feet above sea level or more.
  • Avoid exercising in a warm or hot environment. Keep cool and stay hydrated.
  • You can do traditional abdominal work in the first trimester, but you will need to modify any abdominal work in the second and third trimesters.
  • After your first trimester, avoid any exercises that involve lying on your back.

You'll also be more comfortable wearing a supportive sports bra and sneakers.

How often should I work out?

You can work out as often as you'd like, but you should listen to your body. At Belly-n-Kicks we recommend two to three strength training days, three cardio days and one to two rest days.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise on most, if not all, days of the week for normal pregnancies. A balance of cardio, strength training and stretching is ideal.

Planning a prenatal exercise program is key to a happy and healthy pregnancy. You'll not only feel strong, you'll be prepared for the ultimate task: parenthood.

Photo credit: Alija/iStock/360/Getty Images

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