Your Pregnancy After 35 : Exercise during and after Pregnancy (part 4) - Exercise Guidelines for Pregnancy

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7. Exercise Guidelines for Pregnancy

Consult your healthcare provider before you begin any exercise program. Follow the tips below to keep you healthy and in good shape.

Try to exercise every day for at least 20 to 30 minutes.

Start your exercise routine with a 5-minute warm-up, and end with a 5-minute cool-down period.

Water Exercise Guidelines

Consider the following suggestions if you want to work out in water or swim as part of your exercise regimen.

Be sure pool water is warm enough but not hot. The ideal temperature of the water should be between 80 and 84F (26.5 and 29C). Avoid hot tubs and spas because water is too hot for baby.

Drink plenty of fluids before you begin exercising and during exercise. Dehydration can occur even in a pool.

Eat easily digested foods 30 minutes to 1 hour before you work out; choose fruit or a whole-wheat product.

To help you keep your footing when you exercise in the pool, wear aquatic shoes, tennis shoes or jogging shoes in the water. Be sure the shoe has a good tread so you don’t slip.

If you feel lethargic, don’t skip a workout! Instead, decrease how hard you exercise or for how long.

Wear comfortable clothes that offer support, such as a support bra and good athletic shoes.

Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.

Don’t exercise strenuously for more than 15 to 20 minutes.

Check your pulse rate frequently.

Be careful exercising in hot, humid weather—work out early in the morning and drink lots of water.

After 16 weeks of pregnancy, avoid exercises that require you to lie on your back.

Keep your body temperature below 100.4F (38C).

Exercise during the coolest part of the day.

Stop immediately and consult your physician if you experience any problems.

Be aware of problems that might develop while you exercise. If you notice any unusual occurrences, report them to your healthcare provider immediately. These include:




extreme shortness of breath



abnormally rapid heart rate

back pain

pubic pain

difficulty walking

breathlessness that doesn’t go away

chest pain

loss of fetal movement

8. Nutritional Needs during Exercise

You know that your nutritional needs increase during pregnancy. If you exercise, you’ll probably burn more calories and may have to adjust your meal plan. Be sure you eat enough calories to ensure a balanced diet. You may need to eat more than a pregnant woman who is not exercising at your level.

Discuss with your healthcare provider how much more you should eat. Make sure any additional calories are nutritious and supply your body with the protein, calcium and carbohydrates you need—not sugar and fat.

9. Prenatal Exercises to Do at Home or at Work

Sometimes you may find it difficult to exercise at a health club or somewhere else outside your home. You can do the exercises in this section at home or at work. Try all of them, and incorporate those you like into your regular schedule.

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