At SWEAT in Dallas, TX, we work with pregnant women of all different fitness levels to help them stay active throughout their pregnancies, maintain a healthy weight, and promote muscle tone and cardiovascular health. If you’re newly pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant soon, we’ve compiled some key pregnancy workout tips to help you stay active and healthy throughout your pregnancy, regardless of your current fitness level.
Finding out that you’re pregnant can produce many different emotions. Once the excitement, shock, or nervousness wears off, pregnancy will become your new normal, and you’ll start to consider how it will change your daily routine, especially your workouts.
Whether you’re used to an intense training regimen or like to build moderate activity into your day, it’s important that you stay active throughout your pregnancy because doing so will:
- Improve your mood
- Help you maintain increased energy levels
- Promote circulation
- Decrease bloating
- Release endorphins
- Promote digestion
- Alleviate and prevent constipation
- Improve sleep
- Maintain a healthy pregnancy weight
- Promote fitness endurance
- Maintain muscle tone
- Prepare your body for labor
Listen To Your Body
There are so many different opinions about working out during pregnancy. Your family members, friends, and even strangers will give you their unsolicited opinions about what you should or shouldn’t do at the gym. Some experts will tell you to stop specific exercises altogether; others will say to keep your heart rate within a certain range during exercise.
At the end of the day, the most important thing you can do, aside from following your doctor’s recommendations, is to listen to your body. If you have the strength and energy to run and have been running long before you became pregnant, then run.
Once you’ve been cleared for exercise by your doctor, give yourself the freedom to lift heavy weights, squat, or even perform plyometrics. If something hurts or doesn’t feel right, and at some point during your pregnancy, it will, you’ll know it’s time to slow down and modify your workouts accordingly.
Don’t Drastically Change Your Workouts
Pregnancy is the time to maintain your current fitness level, not try to advance it. While you can and should continue to tone and strengthen various muscle groups with resistance training, pregnancy is not the time to shock your body or try something drastically new or different.
Your body will focus most of its energy on growing a baby and, as a result, will direct less energy toward workout recoveries. Drastic changes in your workouts can make you more susceptible to an injury.
Refocus Your Ab Workouts
Abdominal workouts are safe during pregnancy, to a point. As your uterus grows, you’ll find that traditional crunches don’t feel like they used to and may do more harm than good in the long term. Once you hit that point, which will vary from one woman to the next based on their fitness levels, you’ll want to swap intense abdominal workouts for modified core routines.
Continuing ab workouts late into your pregnancy may have the opposite effect that you want and increase your risk of diastasis recti. Add modified planks, pelvic tilts, and other gentle core-strengthening moves to your workouts, as well as any exercises that pull the abdomen in instead of pushing the muscles out. Focus on exercises that stretch and elongate your core to prepare your body for labor.
Modified core workouts and stretches can also alleviate the round ligament pain many women experience during pregnancy, which can be intense. As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll gladly welcome any and all exercises that stretch your body and provide relief from discomfort. Then, after you have your baby, you can focus on tightening and toning your abs with more intense workouts.
Walking is one of the best activities you can do during pregnancy. It’s a low-impact exercise that helps you stay active, maintain a healthy pregnancy weight, and increase circulation. Even if you continue strength training throughout your pregnancy, adding morning or evening walks to your day in addition to your regular workouts will boost your mood, help promote blood flow, prevent bloating, and help you feel energized.
Hydration is important when you’re not pregnant, but it’s even more important during your pregnancy. Bloating and pregnancy seem to go hand-in-hand, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Pregnancy doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to nine to ten months of uncomfortable bloating.
Instead, you can take steps to ward off bloating. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day and committing to regular activity will help you maintain muscle tone and avoid bloating, which will, by default, improve your mood and confidence.
Work With a Trainer
If you’re not sure which exercises to continue and which to avoid, one of the best investments you can make in yourself during your pregnancy is working with a personal trainer. At SWEAT, we have trainers who can design safe and effective workout plans during your pregnancy.
Many of our trainers have been through one or more pregnancies themselves. They can guide you throughout your pregnancy journey, give you helpful tips and techniques you can follow throughout these months, and ensure that you’re performing safe yet effective workouts that will help you stay active, break a sweat, and maintain your fitness level and a healthy weight.
Experience the Benefits of an Active Pregnancy
Whether you’re newly pregnant, halfway through, or near the end of your pregnancy, we can help you build daily activity into your day. SWEAT is filled with state-of-the-art equipment and plenty of machines to help you modify your workouts during pregnancy and then rebuild your post-baby body when it’s over. Our experienced personal trainers can also work with you during one-on-one training sessions to take the guesswork out of pregnancy fitness. Contact us today at SWEAT in Dallas, TX, to learn more.