fit at any level
>>Whether you run marathons or just walk daily, here's a safe prenatal workout for you.
exercise do’s and don’ts
There is one guideline that both beginners and superfit moms-to-be should heed: Listen to your body. “Athletes tend to have a ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality. But pregnancy is not a time when you should override what your body is telling you,” says Nordahl. “If you’re feeling worn-out or an exercise feels uncomfortable, you need to be willing to slow down or quit.” Here are some essential guidelines for exercising while pregnant:
- To keep exercising at a high level, find a doctor or midwife who is qualified to advise you about workout issues.
- Consume an extra 300 calories for every hour of exercise.
- Stay hydrated, adding two 8-ounce glasses of water for every hour of exercise. Adequate fluid intake is especially important in the last trimester, since dehydration can trigger premature labor.
- Use the talk test: Slow down if you can’t carry on a conversation while exercising.
- Stop exercising until you see your doctor if any of the following symptoms crop up: pain, fever, bleeding, dizziness, shortness of breath, faintness, back pain, pubic pain, persistent headaches, failure to gain weight, absence of usual fetal movement, sudden swelling, difficulty in walking or abnormally rapid heartbeat after exercising.
These exercises are from the book Fit to Deliver: An Exercise Program for You and Your Baby by Karen Nordahl, M.D., Susi Kerr and Carl Petersen (Fit to Deliver, 2000, $22; to order, call 800-511-1225). All were chosen for their adaptability during pregnancy and, because the moves work many muscles at the same time, they give you the biggest bang for your workout buck. You should do the exercises that match your fitness level in the order listed.