In Fit & Healthy Pregnancy, Dr. Kristina Pinto and Rachel Kramer, MD, offer guidelines for women who would like to exercise during pregnancy. They suggest:
- Warming up for 5 to 10 minutes is important to ease into a workout and determine how your body is feeling that day. Start slowly and build to more effortful exercise during a session.
- Exercising regularly on most days of the week is better for your fitness than a burst of exercise that’s followed by days or weeks of no activity.
- A moderate workout of 30 minutes on most days of the week will be beneficial for most women.
- Generally speaking, if you’re able to hold a conversation while you exercise, your exertion is in a safe zone. Use Borg’s Rate of Perceived Exertion scale (see Chapter 2) to monitor your effort level, and don’t exceed a 16 on the scale.
- The extra weight you carry as you progress through pregnancy will make easy exercise feel harder. Stop if you feel dizzy or exhausted.
- Drink a glass of water before and after exercise and drink based on thirst while you work out.
- Avoid exercise with a risk of falling or blunt force to the abdomen, such as downhill skiing or soccer.
- Be careful with any exercise that might strain your back, such as overstretching to touch your toes or the floor in yoga.
- Avoid sit-ups or any exercise while lying on your back after the first trimester.
- Always inform the instructor, trainer, or coach that you’re pregnant.
Please consult your doctor before embarking on an exercise program during pregnancy.
Fit & Healthy Pregnancy dispels generations of old wives’ tales about exercise and pregnancy. Exercise during pregnancy isn’t just safe, it’s healthy for you and your baby. This modern, comprehensive guide shows active women how to stay strong and in shape before, during, and after pregnancy.