Becoming pregnant should not stop you from getting or staying active. Physical activity can be part of your pregnancy, but there are some things to consider that will help keep you and your growing baby safe.
If you were active (at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes) before pregnancy, you can safely remain active during your pregnancy. If you were inactive before becoming pregnant, second trimester, or after your 16th week of pregnancy, is the safest time for you to begin adding physical activity to your daily or weekly routine. Risks and discomforts of pregnancy are a their lowest at this time.
Here are some tips to help you get active safely during pregnancy:
- Talk to your doctor or health care provider before beginning or changing your physical activity program.
- Begin slowly. Start with aerobic activity 3 times per week for 15 minutes.
- Avoid activities that require sudden starts or stops, jumping, or rapid changes in direction.
- Always warm up your muscles before activity. Stretch and cool down after your activity.
- Drink water before, during and after your activity to replace body fluids lots through sweating.
- You body temperature should not go above 38 C. Avoid activity in warm, humid weather especially during the first trimester or when you are ill or have a fever. Check the temperature of a heated pool before swimming. Do not use hot tubs or whirlpools.
- Avoid exercise that requires you to lie on your back after four months or 16 weeks of pregnancy. Instead, perform the exercises while lying on your side, sitting or standing.
For ideas on exercises and stretches recommended for pregnant women visit the Physical Activity Resource Center website, contact the health unit, or talk to a health care professional.
Listen to your body
Remember to list to your body. If you feel uncomfortable, experience pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, or other symptoms stop what you are doing. You need to decrease the amount and intensity of your exercise. If symptoms persist, consult your health care provider.
Source: Physical Activity Resource Centre. 'Active Pregnancy'. Retrieved from: www.parc.ophea.net.
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