What to avoid during pregnancy:
-Activities that increase the risk of falling
-Activities that can cause trauma to your abdomen
-Intense jumping, bouncing, or hopping
-Intense stretching, or bouncing while stretching (your body is full of hormones that promotes relaxation of muscles, so its easier to get injured while stretching)
-Exercising in hot, humid conditions
-Holding your breath for an extended period of time, or not breathing correctly through exercises
-Exercising to the point of exhaustion; you should be able to keep a conversation while exercising, or not be out of breath during activities
-Laying on your back for prolonged periods of time; after the first trimester, your baby can put pressure on your inferior vena cava, and decrease blood supply to you as well as the baby itself
Tips during exercise:
-Drink plenty of water during and after activities
-Make sure you are eating enough calories to restore the nutrients and calories you are losing while exercising; you aren’t exercising to lose weight while you are pregnant, although exercising after the baby is born will help with weight loss.
-After activities, which require you to be on the floor, get up slowly to prevent dizziness
Important to remember:
-Your joints are more flexible due to hormones which cause muscles to relax, so be very careful if you chose to do some stretches.
-Center of gravity might be shifted due to extra weight from the front, which will affect your balance
-Extra weight and nutritional/ physical demands cause your body to work harder than before you were pregnant. This means that you will become tired quicker and have less energy. (Exercising will help improve your energy levels over time)
-When you exercise, blood flow shifts from internal organs to the muscles, lungs and heart. This means that less blood flow is going to your uterus (and your baby), so you need to be careful that you do not over-exercise and maintain a healthy heart rate so that your baby is still getting the proper oxygen amount.
Elina Skripochnik PT, DPT, CSCS
Elina is a Physical Therapist with experience in women's health and pediatrics. She aims to educate women on the importance of becoming and staying active during pregnancy, as well as to provide safe and easy exercises that can be done throughout pregnancy and beyond.