Well what a summer! I thought I was suffering a terminal illness in early december but in fact after many trips to see various health practitioners, I found out the exciting news that I have a growing life inside me! Now I am 18 weeks pregnant and finally I can breathe, eat, and think normally. Well, my husband might still disagree slightly, but I feel like myself again and I am ready to share with you my research on exercise and pregnancy and get back into the swing of 2011. I hope you have all written down your health & beauty goals for this year, because step #1 on the staircase to success is identifying and WRITING DOWN YOUR GOALS.
I am hoping that out there are some lovely pregnant (or trying to be) couples reading my blog posts, because if you think pregnancy is a time to lose weight or get fit then you have another thing coming… and that is a big fat wake up call! It is true that improving diet and exercising regularly can help couples to conceive, but if you are pregnant already and you were not exercising prior to falling pregnant then it is recommended that you do not start now. However, making the changes to eating healthy is always recommended at any time in life!
Exercising during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is probably the most risky, luckily however, most of us won’t feel like doing anything except sleeping, peeing and possibly throwing up. Because the first trimester of pregnancy is the critical growth phase, it is extremely important that the exercise guidelines are adhered to here to protect your baby and the possibility of miscarriage or any other complications. However, these guidelines apply to the whole duration of your pregnancy:
- Never let your heart rate go above 140bpm. Your baby’s heart rate is approx double yours, so if you are pumping blood at 140bpm you can cause distress to your baby as their little heart could go above 200!
- Watch your body temperature and try to keep cool while working out. Similar implications to above, and this is more likely because once pregnant, your body temperature rises to above 37+degrees & stays there. Swimming in a non heated pool or the ocean is an ideal pregnancy workout routine to avoid this, especially in Summer.
- You may need to eat a bit before hand to keep your blood sugars up and to give you energy. Your metabolism has increased now that you are pregnant, and your baby needs food nearly every 2 hrs. It is not recommended to diet during pregnancy, a steady weight gain of a kilo per week is recommended. Working out burns calories, therefore you need to replace them. Basically you get to eat more delicious food if you get yourself out there for a walk or a swim.
- Keep it light, short and fairly easy. It’s not time to increase your V02 or anything or lift heavy weights, especially because your heart is now pumping double the amount of blood it was before. I know i feel puffed (and in need of a rest!) just from walking up the stairs to my apartment! Your heart is making sure the blood and oxygen supply safely get to your growing baby.
- one more thing ; Dont lift heavy weights, don’t start lifting weights if you were’nt doing so before. The hormone relaxin is now causing ligaments and your joints to relax and stretch, so injury is more likely!
My next post is about how you can actually eat more food and still lose weight, so stay tuned!