It’s time for another Austin Sports Medicine 101 class!
Pregnancy takes a toll on a woman’s body with morning sickness and loss of energy, but it’s still important that pregnant women lead an active life. Physical fitness can help with mood, sleep, backaches and pregnancy pains, while strengthening the muscles and building the endurance needed for childbirth. Being pregnant shouldn’t mean sitting on the sidelines for nine months, so Medicine in Motion’s Austin sport medicine doctors have come up with a few tips on how to properly incorporate exercise during pregnancy. Please note that it is vital that women discuss fitness plans with their doctor and follow his or her recommendations.
1. Avoid contact sports. Even activities with minimal contact should be avoided during the third trimester. Loss of balance with any physical exertion should always be a concern – never risk a fall.
2. Hydrate. Water is an important element for every athlete, but it’s vital for pregnant women. Don’t wait until thirst hits – by then the person is already dehydrated. Along those same lines, be careful not to get overheated. Babies in the womb don’t have a way to cool themselves.
3. Listen to your body. Even if following a normal workout routine and the doctor’s recommendations for physical fitness, if something feels wrong, stop the exercise immediately. Furthermore, for excessive fatigue, dizziness, loss of breath, vaginal bleeding or contractions, see your doctor immediately.
4. Cardio is king. While yoga is great for strengthening the body, light cardiovascular exercise is recommended for half an hour at least four days each week. Swimming, walking and dancing are all great options.
5. Warm up. By slowly preparing the body for its workout, a woman not only prepares her muscles and joints but also lets her heart rate gradually increase instead of suddenly spiking. Too much activity too quickly can cause strains and pains.