When you’re pregnant, everyone tells you that having a child will change your life. But what they don’t tell you is that being pregnant can change your life, too.
How to exercise while pregnant was probably the most noticeable lifestyle change I faced as a new mom-to-be. Although I’ve been fortunate to be able to stay active during my pregnancy, my approach to exercise has shifted.
Are you wondering how to exercise while pregnant? Here are three tips that have worked for me.
Listen to Your Body
Pregnancy leads to hundreds of physical changes in a woman’s body, so it’s important to remain in tune with how you feel. According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms of pregnancy can include cramping, vomiting, fatigue and constipation, among many others.
If you experience one of these symptoms during a workout, take a break or end the workout altogether. While it’s important to stay active while pregnant, you should never risk your health or your baby’s health in order to do so.
I vividly remember feeling lightheaded and painfully bloated during mile four of one of my runs during my first trimester. Instead of pushing through as I usually would, I called my husband to come pick me up and drive me home.
Talk with Your Doctor
Not only do you need to listen to your body while pregnant, it’s also crucial to follow your doctor’s guidance about how to exercise while pregnant. Since no advice applies to every person, it’s important to listen to the doctor who knows your specific situation best.
For example, my doctor advised me to take eight weeks off of high-impact exercise during my second trimester due to a small risk factor she’d found in an ultrasound. As a lifelong runner, it was emotionally difficult for me to stop running for two months. However, I never doubted her advice and completely changed my workout routine to make sure I kept baby as safe as possible.
Try New Workouts
For a while, all I could do was focus on the limitations of my pregnancy such as no alcohol, no heavy weights and no long-distance races. After a few weeks of frustration, I decided to shift my attitude and focus on the opportunities of exercising while pregnant instead.
I started trying new workouts that were more pregnancy-friendly, like swimming, power walking and prenatal yoga. Soon my workout and social schedules were full again as I found a number of ways to keep active while pregnant and also made friends through pregnancy-focused fitness classes.
If you’re looking to exercise while pregnant, I hope these tips have helped. Learn to embrace your changing body during these nine months, and remember that staying active will keep you strong and healthy for the upcoming challenges of labor and motherhood.
The ups and downs of working out for two have helped me grow and mature tremendously over the past seven months, and it’s been great training for the life-changing event that’s soon to come.
Advice or recommendations are for informational or educational purposes only, not a substitute for a visit or consultation with your doctor.
Get more information about specific health terms, topics and conditions to better manage your health on bcbst.com. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also find tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the Managing Your Health tab.