Absolutely! But with caution, in terms of certain positions and of course if your doctor has given you the go ahead.
It must be pointed out though that if you have never partaken in any exercise regime before you fell pregnant, you would want to proceed with extreme caution. This, in fact, applies to anybody taking up exercise for the first time or even starting a new type of exercise. The body needs to be gently eased into this, so as not to bring on an injury or worse. Here are a few rules to abide by:
Always check with your doctor if he feels you are fine to exercise. Again, this should be the first port of call for anyone starting on a new exercise path.
Start off with something easy, like walking and as you feel stronger, you can progress to more high-energy disciplines. Suggestions are:
The Warm Up
Always warm up your muscles first – whether it is a light walk on the treadmill or outside, a few Knee Highs (lifting your knees up alternatively) or just walking on the spot.
In The Gym
- Elliptical Trainer
- Add in some light strength workouts by using the equipment, however, avoid those that involve working out your abdominals
- Gym class that involves light cardio and light weights like a Toning or Shape Class
- Preggie Belly Classes (specific classes for mommy)
- Swimming (brilliant and oh so gentle)
- A Walk around the park or block
- Yoga (there are many online videos you can watch)
- Pilates (just be aware of not focusing too much on your abdominal area)
- Stretch and Tone
Wearing comfortable and slightly fitting clothing is best. This way you keep your junk all snug and tight and can move freely in each move.
Moves To Avoid
- laying flat on your back
- abdominal exercises
- those that strain your lower back
Avoid heating up too much. If you can, invest in a heart rate monitor, which will monitor your heart rate and in turn give you an indication if you are heating up too much.
Slowly Does It
Move slowly through all areas of your exercise. You may wonder if you are burning any calories at all this way, but believe me, you are. Slow and Easy wins the race!
Always cool down after your workout. This you can do by stretching all those muscles you have worked as well as just breathing evenly in and out and moving your limbs slowly up and down, left to right.
Over and Over
There is no point in doing this once a week. If you want to maintain a healthy pregnancy, you want to be partaking in regular exercise, at least, every second day. Start off slowly and steady then increase the pace and or intensity as you feel you can. Rule of thumb is to increase it by no more than 10% a week.
As you get bigger and heavier the exercise will become more difficult so just watch your heart rate and listen to your body. Keep asking yourself that question 'Can I workout when I'm pregnant?' and let your body give you the answer.
Any signs of a sudden pain or even a gentle niggle, rather stop and consult a doctor. Prevention is so much better than cure – and sometimes there isn’t a cure – so be safe – always!