If you're a hard-core exerciser who can't imagine a week without a long-distance run or a challenging hike, you'll be relieved to know that you can continue doing the strenuous exercise that you did before getting pregnant, within reason. (Of course, get your doctor's approval.) Use good sense and remember these tips:
- Your balance changes during pregnancy, so take extra care with activities that require balance.
- Avoid exercising in hot weather. If you become overheated or dehydrated, you will be uncomfortable.
- Wear supportive shoes or, if you're hiking, boots.
- Wear a sports bra that gives your breasts ample support.
- Drink plenty of fluids during and after exercise.
- Take light snacks with you.
- After the 2nd trimester, avoid exercises that require you to lie on your back.
- Stop exercising and call your doctor if you experience calf pain or swelling, chest pain, decreased fetal movement, trouble breathing, dizziness, headache, leaking amniotic fluid, muscle weakness, contractions, or vaginal bleeding.
Avoid activities that are dangerous, including those that put you at high risk for falling or abdominal trauma: basketball, soccer, downhill skiing, horseback riding, in-line skating, ice hockey, vigorous racket sports, gymnastics, scuba diving, rock climbing, and waterskiing.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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