Prenatal fitness is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. There are so many benefits to staying active throughout your pregnancy — not only does it help you stay in shape, but it can also reduce stress, improve your mood, and make labor and delivery easier. But working out during pregnancy can also be intimidating — after all, you already have so much on your plate. Here’s a guide to getting started with your prenatal fitness routine.
Talk to Your Doctor First
Before you begin any type of exercise program, always consult with your doctor. Make sure they’re aware of your plans and if they give the go-ahead, they can offer advice about which types of exercises are best for you.
Once you receive the ok from your doctor, you can start building your exercise routine. The American College of Obstetricians recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity on most, if not all days of the week. This could include low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, and cycling.
Listen to Your Body
It’s important to pay attention to your body while exercising. If you feel any pains or become overly fatigued, take a break. Don’t push yourself too hard, especially in your first few weeks of exercise. Start slowly and gradually increase your intensity as you get stronger.
Staying hydrated is even more important when you’re pregnant, so drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. Drinking water will help keep you from feeling dizzy, lightheaded, and overheated — common side effects of pregnancy that can be exacerbated by exercise.
Lastly, make sure to have fun! Working out doesn’t have to be a chore — try finding an activity you really enjoy (like yoga, dancing, or even just taking a brisk walk outside). Being active during pregnancy can be an incredibly positive experience — it’s good for you and your baby!