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01 May 2009

Exercise Guidelines During Pregnancy

  • If you are just starting an exercise program as a way of improving your health during your pregnancy, you should start very slowly and be careful not to over exert yourself.

  • Listen to your body. Your body will naturally give you signals that it is time to reduce the level of exercise you are performing.

  • Never exercise to the point of exhaustion or breathlessness. This is a sign that your baby and your body cannot get the oxygen supply they need.

  • Wear comfortable exercise footwear that gives strong ankle and arch support.

  • Take frequent breaks, and drink plenty of fluids during exercise.

  • Avoid exercise in extremely hot weather.

  • Avoid rocky terrain or unstable ground when running or cycling. Your joints are more lax in pregnancy, and ankle sprains and other injuries may occur.

  • Contact sports should be avoided during pregnancy.

  • Weight training should emphasize improving tone, especially in the upper body and abdominal area. Avoid lifting weights above your head and using weights that strain the lower back muscles.

  • During the second and third trimesters, avoid exercise that involves lying flat on your back as this decreases blood flow to your womb.

  • Include relaxation and stretching before and after your exercise program.

  • Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates.

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