Before enrolling in any prenatal exercise program, the following guidelines should be taken into account:
Make sure to get clearance from your OB-GYN or midwife at every trimester regardless whether you are a beginner or advanced exerciser.
You should also get a complete physical beforehand to rule out any risk factors, or contra-indications you may have that could compromise your pregnancy.
It is recommended that a certified prenatal fitness coach reviews your exercise routine periodically as to make adjustments to your program as you progress further in your pregnancy.
Do not exercise at altitudes higher than 8,000 feet and do not exercise for the first three to four days at higher than 6,500 feet. Due to decreased oxygen levels the higher you travel the less you should exercise.
Always remember to listen and to tune into your body. If something doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t.
Contact sports should be avoided, as well as any activities or exercises that could compromise your balance where risks of falling could occur.
Hydration is extremely important before, during and after your workout.
Pregnant women who exercise should consume between 500-800 extra calories a day.
About thirty minutes before your workout a light snack should be consumed to prevent low blood sugar levels. Ideal is: fruit, juice or other high carbohydrate foods.
Make sure you wear a comfortable sports bra, and workout clothes that breathe and in which you are comfortable in. Sneakers are also recommended to give you good support. Try to avoid exercising in hot and humid weather. Work out in air-conditioned areas.
A pregnant woman should also remember that pregnancy is not the time to go on a weight loss program, instead it is to maintain strength and fitness.
It is recommended for a pregnant woman to exercise at a mild to moderate intensity, where she is still able to speak. She should never exercise to exhaustion.
Exercising at least three times a week is better than sporadic exercise.