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Safety Guidelines – The Do's and Don'ts

When you are pregnant there are many rules to follow and healthy things that you should be doing to make sure that you and your baby are healthy. You need to take your prenatal vitamin, eat healthy foods, eat enough, and of course, exercise (30 minutes or more of moderate exercise on most, if not all days of the week). This is a good time to keep a journal that records your eating, training & workouts, notes on how you feel, heart rate, recovery, etc. Here are some general guidelines to consider when exercising during pregnancy: Pregnant Woman

The Do's:

• Do Talk to your Doctor before Starting any type of Exercise - Your doctor will let you know exactly what exercises to stay away from and what will be more beneficial to you. They will also let you know when it is time to stop (usually around the last trimester).

• Do Keep your Doctor up-to-date on what kinds of activities you're engaging in, and whether you notice any worrisome symptoms such as persistent bleeding. As part of your regular medical checkups, have your doctor advise you on possible changes to your body (e.g. cervical dilation, threatened miscarriage, hypertension etc.) that may require you to modify your program.

• Do Warm Up before Exercise - Warming up is important in any exercise routine. It helps to prepare your muscles and slowly increases your heart rate. If you skip this step you could find yourself in a lot of pain afterwards. As well, the hormones produced during pregnancy cause the ligaments that support your joints to be become relaxed. The resulting increased mobility can increase your risk for injury, so be sure to perform an adequate warm-up before any exercise.

• Do Wear Comfortable Clothing & Dress to stay Cool - It is important that you wear comfortable Pregnant Woman clothes that help you to breathe and move easily. Wear loose, non-binding clothing and drink plenty of water. Wear layers if needed and remember to wear a maternity bra for support and comfort. Wearing athletic shoes will help to add support to your feet. Because of swelling you may have to buy a larger shoe size.

• Do Drink your H2O - Drinking water is one of the most important steps to remember (even though you'll feel like you have to pee every ten minutes). You want to make sure that you don't do anything that could harm you or your baby. Drink water whenever you feel thirsty or hot to avoid dehydration. Hydrating is key, so drink lots of water.

• Do Eat More Calories - Remember that you are exercising to stay in shape not to lose weight. Good nutrition is essential during pregnancy, but hey, you knew that didn't you? That means you need to take in an extra 300 to 500 calories. This will help you to keep your body nourished and keep your body's strength up. It is often difficult to accept the inevitable weight gain that occurs during pregnancy, but this isn't a time to diet or be nutritionally stingy. Try to eat at regular intervals and not go more than a couple of hours without a small meal. In the first trimester you may be limited in what you can tolerate, and formerly appealing things may make you feel sick, but this is usually restricted to the first three or four months. You may experience an increase in appetite, including nearly uncontrollable cravings for carbohydrates (mmmm those donuts). This does not signify weakness or gluttony on your part; let the hormones do their work and get a balanced diet as best you can.

• Do Keep Moving - Standing still for long periods – when you're lifting weights or doing yoga poses – can decrease blood flow to the uterus and cause blood to sit in your legs #8212; which can make you dizzy. Keep moving by switching positions or walking in place.

• Do Take a Break - If you need a break to cool down while you're exercising, take one. Oxygen will be less available to you, and you will find that in later months of pregnancy, the baby presses upwards on your diaphragm, making it harder to breathe deeply.

• Do Get Up Slowly - As your belly grows, your center of gravity shifts. That's why it's important to take great care when you change positions. Getting up too quickly can make you dizzy, and may cause you to lose your footing and fall.

• Do Cool Down at the end of your Workout - Take a few minutes to walk in place and then stretch. Heart rate increases during pregnancy and it may take as long as 15 minutes for your heart to return to its resting rate following a workout.

The Don'ts:

• Don't Participate in High-Risk Activities – Recreational Pregnant Woman sports with a high potential for contact (ice hockey, soccer, basketball) or recreational sports with an increased risk of falling (gymnastics, horseback riding, downhill or water skiing, vigorous racquet sports, even biking) could result in trauma or injury for both you and baby.

• Don't Lie Flat on your Back (Supine) - After the first trimester you need to avoid lying flat on your back without any elevation. Being in this position puts pressure on a major vein called the vena cava, which will diminish blood flow to your brain and uterus, and can make you dizzy, short of breath, or nauseated. There are some women who are comfortable in this position far into their pregnancies, but this doesn't mean that the blood flow to the uterus isn't affected. Placing a pillow under your right hip or buttock will allow you to be almost supine without compressing the vena cava.

• Don't Exercise to Exhaustion - Slow down if you can't comfortably carry on a conversation. In general, the best guideline is to listen to your body. When something hurts, that means something's wrong, so stop. You should feel like you're working your body, not punishing it.

• Don't Get Too Hot - Avoid letting yourself get too hot, especially during the first trimester when your baby's major organs are developing. Increased blood flow and a higher metabolic rate mean you'll feel warmer than usual when you're pregnant, and doubly so when you exercise. And since feeling warm is common in pregnancy, you may get overheated much faster than you normally would, even before your belly is big. Signs of being overheated are largely individual, but pay attention if you're sweating a lot, feel uncomfortably warm, or feel dizzy or short of breath. On hot and/or humid days, skip your workout or exercise indoors in a well-ventilated, air-conditioned room. To cool off quickly, stop exercising, take off layers, and change your environment: seek out air conditioning, get a fan on you if possible or step into a cool shower, and monitor the situation during your training sessions.

• Don't take any supplements during pregnancy or breastfeeding other than a good-quality whey protein and a multivitamin (your doctor may recommend additional vitamin or mineral supplementation). Given the issues with overheating and heart rate, thermogenics and stimulants are contraindicated (this includes caffeine, so cut down on this as much as you can).

Living Active Fitness & Massage
Tel: 1-604-795-0342
Email: info@livingactivefitness.com

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