Most active women are normally concerned at how their workouts are affected by pregnancy. Renne M. Jeffreys, a prenatal fitness consultant in Milford, says that these circumstances are normal and that they are only short-term changes. There are many unanswered questions when it comes to gym and pregnancy. Are certain machines off-limits? Should I dial down my cardio? The answers to these questions will largely depend on how you are feeling, your current trimester and fitness level.
It may take an extra dose of motivation getting yourself to the gym. However, it has a huge payoff when it comes to your health. Consistent exercises during pregnancy lower your risks of depression, it helps you sleep much better and minimizes aches as well as constipation.
Whether you lift weights, work out in the cardio room or take classes, when it comes to gym and pregnancy, everything usually changes. Here are a few ways that can help you adapt during this time.
The pregnancy-safe activities you can do at home or the gym
Water aerobics is a favorite for expectant women who are in the third trimester. Wearing aqua shoes will prevent you from slipping on the bottom of the pool.
For more athletic types, when considering the gym and pregnancy, use the Rate of Perceived Exertion to gauge your intensity during pregnancy on a scale of 0 to 10. Always aim towards an intensity that lies between 3 and 5.Since your blood volume increases during pregnancy, try to ignore the heart-rate readouts on the cardio machines. Heart rate is not considered to be an accurate gauge of intensity.
So what are the best cardio machines to use at the gym when pregnant?
Some of the better options when it comes to equipment at the gym and pregnancy include the upright and recumbent bikes. Most women enjoy the back support that is offered by the recumbent bikes. However, it ceases to be useful when you are in the third trimester because your belly has the possibility of getting in the way of your knees.
You can always control the terrain on the treadmill and the speed. Add moderate hills when you feel that you are up to it and go back to flat terrain if the hills trigger calf cramps. Your body will tell you when it’s time to switch down to walking.
Don’t overdo it and run hard on the treadmill if you are pregnant.
Outside of the gym you can engage in low impact walking activities too. Walking for up to 30 minutes per day, three days a week is best suited for beginners.
Gym and pregnancy; the common classes in the gym
Some gym classes can be more appealing than others, and some certainly are safer than others when considering gym and pregnancy. Stick to what your doctor tells you is safe for you at the stage of pregnancy that you are in.
Yoga helps to foster a sense of calm with its gentle movements while putting more emphasis on breathing and meditation. Not only does it strengthen your core but also improves your flexibility. Try to avoid movements that force you to lie on your back for longer periods of time or twists and movements that tug on your tummy.
Pilates is an essential exercise that will support your body and your growing baby as it helps maintain the tone of your abdominal muscles. However, it is recommended to opt out of these classes after the first trimester because of the prolonged duration lying on your back. You can still do upper-body exercises, side-lying legwork, and a few stretches.
When you are pregnant there is no need to avoid the gym. Gym and pregnancy are two words that safely go together with the right guidance, particularly when you listen to your body. Keep your workouts low impact, and you’ll be fine.