PREG­NANCY & FIT­NESS

What's Safe?

Raise Vegan - - Contents -

Whether you're a “stroll about town” type of per­son or a hardcore marathoner, it is nec­es­sary to stay in tune with your body to make sure you're not putting too much stress on you or your baby. If some­thing feels off, leave it out.

Here are some help­ful tips to keep you and your baby safe and healthy:

Check with your med­i­cal provider first. It's im­por­tant to get the green light f rom your doc­tor be­fore start­ing, con­tin­u­ing or chang­ing any ex­er­cise rou­tine, es­pe­cially when preg­nant. If you were a reg­u­lar at the gym be­fore you be­came preg­nant and don't have any com­pli­ca­tions, then the gen­eral rule of the thumb is that it should be fine to carry on, some­times with a few mod­i­fi­ca­tions. If you have a sud­den burn­ing de­sire to be the next Ser­ena Wil­liams, but you've never ac­tu­ally stretched fur­ther than the re­mote con­trol, it's prob­a­bly not the best time to jump into high- in­ten­sity train­ing. It'd be best to look in to a low- im­pact ex­er­cise reg­i­men. While it is of­ten best to be ac­tive - no judg­ment here, per­son­ally, I was couch- rid­den

for four months - there are med­i­cal con­di­tions, such as preeclamp­sia or pla­centa pre­via that will ab­so­lutely put the ki­bosh on any stren­u­ous ac­tiv­ity. So again, I stress, please check with your doc­tor first be­fore hit­ting the gym.

Warm up. Warm­ing up pre­pares your mus­cles and joints for ex­er­cise and slowly in­creases your heart rate. Your body pro­duces a hor­mone called re­laxin dur­ing preg­nancy that nat­u­rally causes your lig­a­ments to loosen. This helps pre­pare your pelvis to open su­per wide when it comes time to push that big ol' baby out, and while it's ver y im­por­tant to warm up be­fore work­ing out, you do need to take it kind of easy here. Use light stretch­ing as your warmup along with a lit­tle walk­ing. Go­ing into a work­out with cold mus­cles in ad­di­tion to your preg­nancy hor­mones can cause ex­treme sore­ness the next day. With all the other aches and pains that come along with preg­nancy, that's the last thing you need!

Don't lie flat on your back any­more!

Af­ter the first trimester, try to avoid any ex­er­cises that in­volve ly­ing on your back or your tummy. The weight of your uterus puts a lot of pres­sure on the vena cava, this re­duces blood flow and may cause dizzi­ness when you try to get back up. A good tip is to put a pil­low or a wedge be­hind your back to prop you up slightly. In all hon­esty, it's go­ing to be hard to get back up off the floor any­way, just make sure you take it slow so you don't get dizzy and lose your balance.

Stay Hy­drated. I know you're prob­a­bly pee­ing ev­ery two min­utes al­ready and now you're think­ing “ugh, more wa­ter?” Yes, drink up, it's in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant. De­hy­dra­tion can ac­tu­ally trig­ger con­trac­tions. De­hy­dra­tion was a huge is­sue for me, so I car­ried around a gal­lon sized wa­ter bot­tle ev­ery­where I went. Peo­ple used to joke that I should name it, kind of like a third child. We named it Wal­ter, any­way, I di­gress.

What can you do? Squats are a great ex­er­cise to do dur­ing preg­nancy, it will also help you when it comes to la­bor as it helps to open ev­ery­thing up. Pelvic tilts area great way to strengthen your ab­dom­i­nal mus­cle sand can also help al­le­vi­ate back pain. Pre­na­tal yoga is a won­der­ful, low- im­pact ac­tiv­ity, just make sure it's ac­tu­ally a pre­na­tal class, as a lot of yoga po­si­tions have you on your back or tummy. Walk­ing is ben­e­fi­cial, you might even break into a light jog.

Pace your­self. Please, don't overdo it. You might be feel­ing full of en­ergy and high on the joys of life right now but don't push your­self too hard. If you're not able to chat with your r un­ning buddy with­out be­com­ing short of breath, then you're prob­a­bly overex­ert­ing your­self. Lis­ten to your body, if some­thing hurts, don't do it. You want to have a work­out but you don't want to spend the rest of the day ex­hausted. Ex­er­cise is sup­posed to en­er­gize you.

Ex­er­cis­ing for 30 min­utes 3- 5 days a week can be won­der­fully ben­e­fi­cial to your health be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter preg­nancy. The im­por­tant thing is to be ac­tive and get your blood flow­ing. ◆

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