Pregnancy & Exercise

Pregnancy & Exercise

When you become pregnant one big question comes across your mind “Can I exercise?” In most cases, the answer is, yes!

In the past, it used to be common for practitioners to tell newly pregnant women, they were not allowed to exercise. Quickly, it was discovered that there were a lot more benefits to exercising, compared to not exercising. Exercising and being active during pregnancy benefits not only mom, but baby also!

I have done some looking and there are several things to keep in mind while exercising and being active during pregnancy. I have broken it down for everyone.

Pregnancy & Exercise

Warm Up

Warming up before exercising is always important, but even more critical when pregnant. Just like before pregnancy, if you do not warm up, you may experience aches and pains after workout. Pregnant women, will definitely experience these aches and pains if they do not warm up. When pregnant, your body is growing and changing. It is important to ease into activity and exercise.

Heart Rate

Heart rate is a common thing that comes up when discussing exercise during pregnancy. Women will hear different target heart rates from different sources, but a common heart rate that is most commonly given is 140. It is not recommended to get your heart rate over 140. During the first trimester, most women are usually tired and do not have much energy; so staying at this heart rate is easy. Some women have no change in energy and can exert themselves way more. It is important for you to discuss this with your provider and come up with a target heart rate that makes everyone feel comfortable.

Mood Swings

When you become pregnant, hormones are going haywire! One moment you may be sad and depressed, nauseous, stressed, and so on. Exercising brings out those good and happy endorphins! It may hard to get moving but, getting outside and being active can greatly improve a your mood.

Exercises to Avoid

Deciding what exercises to avoid will vary between each person. If you are very active and work out routinely, there will be less to avoid. Most commonly, you can continue to do what you have been doing. There are women who still run marathons, lift heavy weights and more while pregnant. The most important thing is for you to listen to your body. If you feel something is too much, hurts, or just feels “off” you need to cut back. There are certain activities and exercises that should be avoided while pregnant such as, scuba diving, horseback riding, mountain biking, skiing or any contact sport that may cause trauma to the abdomen.

Eating

Yes, eating fits into exercising while pregnant. If you are regularly exercising while pregnant, you are burning calories. It is very important for you to make up for those calories by eating healthy, lots of fruits and veggies, and high protein foods. Even though you may think you do not need those extra calories, your baby does!

WATER, WATER, WATER

Water is extremely, extremely important while pregnant. Not only is it important if you are lying around all day, it is even more important if you are active and exercising. Staying hydrated keeps the body temperature low while exercising, reduces aches and pains, and will help prevent contractions.

Look into prenatal exercise classes

Although, you are usually able to continue your normal exercise routine, it may be beneficial for you to research and find a prenatal exercise class. This may also be beneficial for women who have not been exercising prior to pregnancy, but want to stay active. Prenatal exercise classes are modified for pregnancy and the instructors have a special certification to teach prenatal classes. The fitness instructors are knowledgeable of the woman’s pregnant anatomy and know the dos and don’ts. It is also a great place to meet other pregnant mama’s and connect!

When to slow down

In the first trimester you may be able to workout like you did before pregnancy. As pregnancy continues, your body changes, and your baby grows; changes may need to be made. Listen to your body for changes such as these:

  1. Fatigue – Feeling a little fatigue after exercising is okay, but if you cannot recover like before, it may mean to start scaling a bit back.
  2. Joint or muscle pain – Joint and muscle pain comes with the “being pregnant” package, but it may increase even more if you are exercising too much. Any sharp pains, or aches, that is not going away after a day or so, after working out, cut back.

Reasons to STOP exercising

The number one reason to stop exercising would be if your practitioner has told you to do so, but there are also some other factors to look for.

  1. If you have been diagnosed with preeclampsia or any other form of pregnancy-related high blood pressure.
  2. Cervical problems
  3. Vaginal bleeding
  4. Lots of swelling

If any of these symptoms arise or anything else that may be abnormal, stop exercising, and let your practitioner know immediately.

Exercising while pregnant is not only great for you, but also baby. It boosts your energy and mood levels, helps you sleep better, prevents excess weight gain, and may help ease pain when you go into labor. It is important for to have an open communication with your provider about what your exercise routine is and if any changes are happening.

Disclaimer: All information in this post are thoughts, opinions and research I have personally done. Please talk to your provider before engaging in any activity.  

• BUDAPEST •

Babywearing Exercise Classes in Central Iowa

It is International Babywearing Week!

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Babywearing has been a blessing in my life. It has kept me sane as a parent with small children. I was introduced to it when I had Monte and fell in love even more when I had my daughter!

There are so many options with babywearing and living in Central Iowa, we are truly blessed with the amount of resources available to us, to learn. If you have not checked out our local Babywearing International of Central Iowa group, you NEED to. It is a great place to ask questions about wearing, certain carriers, support, and to just meet other like-minded parents! They offer several meetings in different locations in the metro area, so check out their Facebook page!

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Since the babywearing community has grown and lots of parents are wearing, there are fun exercise classes being created right here in Central Iowa! I am so excited to share information about these classes with you!

• BUDAPEST •

fitBABY

Pied Piper Studios & ClubFit Studio

Created by Caeli Esser of ClubFit, she is bringing fitBaby to you at two different locations! You can check out her babywearing class at Pied Piper Studios or at the ClubFit studio. Baby wearing optional. Stayclose to your baby, while giving yourself some love. We’ll safely guide you through exercises to improve posture, give your metabolism a boost and leave you feeling energized and ready for anything (whether or not you got any sleep last night).

Locations:

  • Pied Piper Studios – 3892 NW Urbandale Drive
  • ClubFit Studio – 2614 Beaver Avenue, shared space with Livable

Times:

  • Pied Piper Studios – Sunday; 10 am – 10:45 am
  • ClubFit Studio – Monday; 5:15 pm – 5:50 pm

Prices: Check out here for details on pricing options!

Roots Healing Movement Class

The Family Tree Yoga & Massage

Enjoy great music and easy to follow moves and stretches in a supportive atmosphere. Open to all women and safe for pre/postnatal students. Baby wearing welcome.

Location: 3900 Ingersoll Avenue Suites 106 & 108

Dates & Times: 

  • 4-week session begins Wednesday 10/21 weekly thru 11/11 from 11 am – 11:45 am
  • Offered once monthly on Saturdays from 10:30 am – 11:15 am on 10/31, 11/21, and 12/12.
  • A minimum of 4 registered students are required to hold this class. You will receive an email the evening before if we do not have enough participants

Prices: $25/class for Saturday drop-ins (may be used with 4 week class pass and Monthly Unlimited Memberships), or $89 for the four-week class series. All participants receive a complimentary guest pass with purchase!

Check out other classes they offer and sign-up here!

Babywearing Dance

Uplift Fitness Studio

This class is a wonderful activity to help you be fit, give your metabolism a boost, and leave your body feeling energized all while having fun with your baby or toddler! Dancing to music is beneficial to your body, soul and your baby! Whether you have danced in the past or only dreamt of it, these 45 minute classes are open to everyone! Each class includes simple stretches and dance moves designed to give you and your tiny dancer a bonding connection and fun time together. This class is also great for expecting mothers.

Location:  300 SE Grimes Blvd.

Dates & Times: Saturdays; 10:30 am – 11:15 am & Wednesdays; 10:30 am – 11:15 am

Prices: Check here for all pricing packages and to sign-up!

Make sure you keep an eye out! I will be checking out all three of these locations and doing a Featured Post, so you know what to expect!