If you’re used to exercising on a regular basis, the thought of being pregnant and not being able to exercise can be daunting. Fortunately, under normal circumstances, there is absolutely nothing wrong with exercising while pregnant. In fact, it can lead to a healthier pregnancy. There are, of course, some limitations and you’ll want to discuss exercising during pregnancy and especially during your third trimester with your doctor. But there is nothing wrong with remaining active while pregnant. However, is third-trimester exercise okay?
How to Exercise in the Third Trimester
Keep in mind that if you are exercising while pregnant your baby is (in a way) exercising as well. While this shouldn’t bring up concern, you do need to be a bit cautious especially during third-trimester exercise. A big rule is to watch your breathing. Avoid doing any exercise that is going to cause you to pant or gasp for air. Light exercise such as using an exercise bike, walking on the treadmill, yoga or swimming are great. The idea behind monitoring breath is to be able to carry on a conversation while exercising. Obviously, you should avoid any contact sports that could risk bumping your belly and you should also avoid anything that has a risk of falling, which is why biking and running outdoors are not typically recommended. It is also important to avoid lying flat on your back while exercising, as this can cause the uterus to push on blood vessels and cause blood to take longer to return to the heart.
When you’re not pregnant you may be able to get away with not drinking any water during your workout, but this needs to be avoided when pregnant. You should drink water before, during and after your workout to remain properly hydrated. Livestrong recommends at least two cups before your workout, one cup during and another cup after.
Don’t Overdo it
Nothing is wrong with challenging yourself and pushing yourself to the max, but this should be avoided while pregnant, especially during the third trimester. If something seems too difficult then you should avoid it. It is also important to remember that because you are pregnant your body’s center of gravity is likely to be different. When walking on the treadmill be sure to use the handlebars at first to get used to balancing and keep your hands at your sides and near the handlebars just in case you need something to grab onto.
The number one rule of exercising while pregnant, and especially in your final stage, is to enjoy it! Exercise of any kind is a great stress reliever, it helps you sleep and it also helps relieve stress. Plus you won’t have as much trouble getting back into a workout routine after delivery.