reading up on how to have a healthy pregnancy {part 3}

And so begins another pre-pregnancy post about info I’ve gathered from the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy by Roger Harms and Myra Wick. We’ve covered food and weight. So how about some exercise.

  • Fatigue, back pain, and swelling can inhibit you from wanting to exercise. But being active can help lessen some of those symptoms.
  • Exercise can help reduce your risk of gestational diabetes, pregnancy-related high blood pressure, and postpartum depression.
  • Try to get moving at least 30 minutes a day. Even sporadic workouts are okay.
  • Walking, swimming, rowing, cycling, and low-intensity yoga, Pilates and cross-country skiing are good examples of exercises to do.
  • Strength training is okay, but avoid too-heavy weights.
  • Build up to 30 minutes of activity if you were fairly inactive before you became pregnant. Start with 5 minutes, then add 5 incrementally.
  • In general, you should be able to carry on a conversation while exercising. A good rule of thumb to figure out if you’re pushing yourself too hard.
  • If you regularly jogged, ran, or swam you can probably proceed with those activities throughout most of your pregnancy. Check with your health care providers.
  • Make sure you remain hydrated during exercise.
  • Later in your pregnancy, as your weight increases, your center of gravity shifts and your ligaments loosen up—so BE CAREFUL!
  • Avoid or be especially careful with risky activities, such as gymnastics, horseback riding, skiing, racket sports, basketball, and soccer.
  • Do exercises that can help prep your body for labor and recovery.

This is all in Chapter 2: Healthy Choices During Pregnancy, pages 43-46. But remember, every person is different. While the book is good for general information, your health care provider is the best source to consult on any pregnancy-related issues.

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