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Pregnancy Articles

Exercise During Pregnancy: Keeping It Safe

Required Exercise Guidelines for Our Members



Stay Cool and Hydrated
Staying cool is very important when you are pregnant. For this reason, it's a good idea to dress in layers which can be shed as you get warmer during your workout. Avoid exercising in rooms with poor ventilation and avoid outdoor exercise altogether when it's hot and humid. Remember to drink plenty of fluids to keep your body's natural cooling system functioning properly. As a guideline, your urine should be almost clear if you are properly hydrated.


Exercise Selection
  • Your changing hormones (more specifically, an increase in the hormone relaxin) also affect your joints, causing them to become relaxed and loose, especially in the pelvic area, knees, and elbows. This loosening makes the joints more flexible, but also more unstable, so take extra precaution to prevent injury and maintain balance.

  • Activities like tennis and basketball, which involve a great deal of stopping and starting, are also very stressful on your joints. It's still very important to stretch-but not overstretch-the calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, chest, and lower back to accommodate your changing posture.

  • Pregnancy is not the time for contact sports that could cause you to fall, injure yourself, get struck in the abdomen, or badly shake the baby. Therefore, avoid scuba diving, water skiing, basketball, softball, baseball, horseback riding, and snow skiing.

  • After the first trimester, avoid exercising on your back (supine position). This decreases blood flow to your uterus and placenta and can cause dizziness.


Sources:
BabyFit.com Experts; ACE and AFAA Certified

Prenatal & Postnatal Exercise Design, Gwen Hyatt, MS and Catherine Cram, MS. 2003 by Desert Southwest Fitness, Inc. 602 E Roger Road Tucson, AZ 85702 (520) 292-0011.

This article has been reviewed by Sara Hambidge, Physical Therapist.
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