What clothing should I wear when working out while pregnant?
Comfort and breathability are the most important things to consider with workout gear during pregnancy. Pregnancy can be physically uncomfortable, so you'll likely feel your best in clothes that are soft and supportive. Look for breathable natural materials like bamboo and cotton, or fabrics with moisture-wicking technology to not only keep you dry during your workouts, but are easier to take off when they’re not sticking to your skin.
What are the benefits of exercise during pregnancy?
Of course, exercising throughout pregnancy doesn’t guarantee a quick recovery or a pain-free back. But health care providers generally recommend that doing what exercise you can while pregnant is a great way to have a healthier and more comfortable pregnancy. Be sure to get the go-ahead from your practitioner before starting any exercise program during pregnancy.
By strengthening your heart and blood vessels through workouts, you’re prepping your body to tackle another physical challenge yet to come: labor and delivery. Also, women are more susceptible to depression during pregnancy, with an estimated 1 in 2 of all women reporting increased depression or anxiety while expecting. But research has found that exercise during pregnancy releases endorphins that help improve mood while diminishing stress and anxiety. Another benefit is blood pressure reduction. Blood pressure occasionally does go up during pregnancy, but a significant jump can be a warning sign of preeclampsia.
Staying active has been found to keep blood pressure from rising. And, it’s no secret that your growing baby bump puts extra pressure on your lower half, resulting in lower back pain and an achy pelvis. Strengthening your abs, however, may result in less lower-back and pelvic pain during late pregnancy. Just take care when you hit the gym, and avoid any moves that may worsen backaches (or create new ones).
Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?
Yes! Keep up your normal daily physical activity or exercise (sports, running, yoga, dancing, or even shopping) for as long as you feel comfortable. Exercise is not dangerous for your baby. In fact, there is some evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labor. However, you may want to avoid any high impact exercise, planks or push-ups, movements or exercise that places extreme pressure on your pelvic floor, traditional sit-ups and crunches, exercises where you are lying on your back (especially late in pregnancy), or exercises where you hold your breath.
How soon can I exercise after delivery?
If you had an uncomplicated pregnancy and vaginal delivery, it's generally safe to begin exercising a few days after giving birth or as soon as you feel ready. If you had a C-section, extensive vaginal repair or a complicated birth, talk to your health care provider about when to start an exercise program. Start with light walking and stretching, while working your way back up to your pre-baby stamina and strength. Remember, there is no rush!
Can I wear workout leggings while pregnant?
Yes! Just be sure they are breathable, moisture wicking, and have light support. You will want to avoid any leggings with serious compression.
Is it good to workout with a belly band?
Workout leggings, tops and bras are usually top of mind when it comes to pregnancy activewear, but don't forget about items like belly bands, shoes and socks — all of which can support you through prenatal workouts for more comfortable, efficient sweat sessions. Belly bands can offer the support and pain relief you need to engage in light to moderate exercise while pregnant.