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Seven Fitness Tips for When You're Expecting

Fitness Tips for PregnancyFrom boosting your mood to helping ease pregnancy symptoms, regular exercise has many benefits during pregnancy. In general, the CDC says healthy pregnant women should include moderate-intensity activity in their weekly routines. Whatever way you chose to stay fit, be sure you’re protecting the health of yourself and your baby. Use these 7 tips to have fun—but also stay safe—while exercising.



Start with your doctor

Ready to enjoy your favorite fitness activity? Start by talking to your OB GYN. Some medical conditions may not allow for normal exercise, and your doctor knows your specific health. What may be good for one mom may not be right for you.



Know your limits


When you talk to your OB GYN, a few activities will likely be off-limits. You’ll want to be careful about any sports where you could fall or get hit in your stomach. For example, these could include horseback riding, skiing, soccer, basketball, surfing, or skating.


Excessive heat could also be an issue. Things like hot yoga or exercising outdoors on a very humid, hot day could cause your body temperature to rise too high. 

Get enough fuel


Eating a healthy diet goes hand-in-hand with pregnancy fitness. Be sure to fuel up on healthy foods before you work out. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends pre-workout snacks like peanut butter with an apple, oatmeal with fruit, a handful of nuts and raisins, or yogurt and berries. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.




Find a friend


If you’re finding it hard to stay active, sometimes it helps to connect with a friend. You may find exercise is more fun when you have the support of other women going through the same ups and downs of pregnancy. Search your local community for exercise classes or groups that offer activities specifically for pregnant women.




Try a low-impact activity


Many women have joint or back pain during pregnancy. Low-impact exercises are a great way to stay fit without putting too much stress on your body or joints. For example, the American Pregnancy Association suggests that swimming is one of the safest exercises for pregnant women.


You may also consider taking walks, riding a stationary bike, or doing prenatal yoga. All of these can be safe as long as you don’t overdo it. If you enjoy yoga, be sure to ask your instructor about safe adaptions for pregnancy.



Listen to your body


Remember to pay attention to what your body is saying. If you didn’t exercise much before pregnancy, it’s important to take it slow. Dizziness, chest pain, headache, calf pain, painful uterus contractions, or vaginal bleeding can all be warning signs. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology says to stop exercising and contact your doctor if you notice these while exercising.



Adjust as your pregnancy changes


Your fitness routine may look different in your first trimester than it does in your last. During your first trimester, symptoms like morning sickness or fatigue may mean you only feel like exercising for short amounts of time.


After the first few months of pregnancy, you should avoid lying flat on your back while exercising. This can restrict blood flow to your baby. As you enter your third trimester, your growing belly and reduced balance can also mean you have to adjust your fitness routine.


Through every stage, talk with your doctor if you have any concerns. Your OB GYN can guide you on the best ways to stay active while still keeping you and your baby safe. 


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