Pregnancy exercise tips to keep your baby safe

Exercising during pregnancy is a great way to stay healthy, prevent excessive weight gain and even help...

Exercising during pregnancy is a great way to stay healthy, prevent excessive weight gain and even help ease labor. However, it's important to consult with your Atlanta-area obstetrician before beginning any fitness regimen to ensure the safety of your baby and yourself. Follow these tips to stay fit and safe.

Add more calories

The old adage about eating for two isn't exactly accurate, but as your baby grows throughout your pregnancy you will need extra calories in your diet to maintain a healthy weight. If you are exercising while pregnant it means you will be burning even more calories, so you will definitely need to fuel up. Be sure to consult with your doctor about which foods are best to eat while pregnant and exercising.

Take it slow

Even if you were an athlete before getting pregnant, your body will undergo a lot of physical changes, including the loosening of joints and ligaments, so it is a good idea to take things slow and not overdo any fitness routine. This is not the time to run a marathon if you never have before. If at any point while working out you experience unusual pain, spotting, dizziness or shortness of breath, stop your activity and consult with your doctor.

Stay cool and hydrated
During pregnancy, it's important to keep your body temperature at a normal level for the safety of the baby. To avoid getting overheated while exercising be sure to wear light, loose-fitting clothing and work out in a shaded area or cool indoor space, especially if it's a hot summer day in Atlanta. Staying hydrated is also a good way to prevent overheating.

Avoid lying on your back

After the first trimester, it's a good idea to avoid any exercises that require lying on your back. Lying flat on your back can cut off blood flow to a major vein, which will in turn reduce blood flow to your uterus. Stick with floor exercises that allow you to lay on your side for the best circulation.

Choose safe exercises

It's a good idea to avoid any sports or activities that could involve potential injury, even to those not pregnant. For example, skiing, horseback riding and even biking are best to avoid during pregnancy, since they are high impact and have a higher risk of injury. You should also avoid participating in team sports that may involve bodily contact, like soccer or basketball.

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