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EXERCISE GUIDELINES - ACOG


Please read this first, then proceed to exercise

Pregnant Exercise
  1. There are no reasons why a pregnant woman should limit her exercise intensity and lower her target heart rate, unless she has any risk factors that could compromise her pregnancy. She should have a health assessment and an individualized exercise program.

  2. A pregnant woman can continue to exercise at mild-to-moderate intensities. Regular exercise (at least three times a week) is better than sporadic exercise.

  3. A pregnant woman should avoid exercising in the supine position (on your back) after the first trimester if you feel dizzy.

  4. A pregnant woman should be aware that she has less oxygen available to do aerobic exercise with, and needs to modify the intensity accordingly. A pregnant woman should stop exercising if fatigued and not exercise to exhaustion.

  5. Weight-bearing exercises (walking, running, using your whole body) may be continued throughout pregnancy at similar levels to before pregnancy with caution. Non-weight-bearing exercises like cycling and swimming (your body is supported), minimize the risk of injury, and can be started and continued throughout pregnancy.

  6. A pregnant woman should avoid exercises and activities that could compromise her balance, because of pregnancy related bodily changes, especially in the third trimester. And avoid exercises that have the potential of any abdominal trauma (falling or getting hit accidentally).

  7. Pregnant women who exercise should make sure that they eat enough food. Preferably more than the 300 extra calories a day that pregnancy needs (500-800 extra calories a day if you exercise).

  8. Pregnant women who exercise in the first trimester should make sure to stay as cool as possible, by drinking a lot of water, wearing clothes that breathe, and avoiding hot and humid weather when exercising.

  9. If you are a beginner, start slowly and increase gradually and remember that pregnancy is only a time to maintain fitness and strength, not to break a personal record.

  10. Do toning or weight training exercises at least twice a week, strengthening every body part.

  11. Stretch every muscle group except your abdominals every workout.

  12. Do your Kegels every day.

  13. Avoid accidents by using proper posture, alignment, movement transition, muscle control, speed, and avoid quick changes in movement or direction. Make sure that your exercise equipment is in good condition, and in proper working order.

  14. Move your legs or walk around in between every exercise, do not sit or stand still for a long time.

  15. Do not exercise in hot or humid weather. Go indoors in an air-conditioned room.

  16. Water, water, water! Drink lots before, during and after your workout!

  17. Wear comfortable and appropriate clothing for the activity, and for the weather. Wear a well-supporting sport bra. If it is cold, wear several layers that can be removed. If it is warm, wear loose cotton or Supplex fabrics to stay cool and dry.

  18. Never hyperextend your back during a pregnancy

  19. Use the RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) to determine how hard you are working. A good pace is between 50-80% of your capacity, depending on your fitness level.

  20. Think and feel on a scale of 1-10 how hard you are working.

    1    Sleeping
    2    Watching TV
    3    Cooking/Working on your computer
    4    Shopping
    5 - 6   Moderate intensity exercise
    7 - 8   High intensity exercise
    9    Very high intensity
    10  Extreme intensity (you're running for your life)

    1.Modify your workout as you see fit, by being aware of your body. Listen to your body. Slow down if you are tired or not feeling well. If you feel terrific, and full of energy, take a advantage of it, stay active and have a good workout. Cool down properly, for at least 5-10 minutes. Avoid lying down, or positioning your head under your heart level, right after any aerobic activity. Your equilibrium may get out of balance, making you dizzy. Make sure to get a complete physical before you join any exercise class or start your own program, and get you and your exercise program evaluated periodically by your physician and/or trainer. Your program may need to be modified, or discontinued because of advancing stages in your pregnancy or a previously unknown risk factor. You must get written permission from your doctor or midwife to exercise, if you are planning to take a group organized aerobic, or prenatal class, or hire a personal trainer. The class organizer, health club, or instructor will also make you sign a waiver. Eat a light snack about half an hour before you workout, to prevent low blood sugar; preferably some fruit, juice, or other high carbohydrate food.

    2.Most of the physical changes caused by pregnancy stay around for about 12 weeks postpartum, but it can vary from woman to woman and may last up to 6 months. This means exercise routines should be started slowly, and should be gradually built back up again, depending on her condition. It’s up to you and your caregiver to choose a suitable and appropriate exercise program for you.

    3. ABDOMINALCONTRACTIONS Keeping your abs strong and fit during a pregnancy will help stabilize your trunk to minimize and prevent postural and back problems, help during labor contraction, minimize stretchmarks and help you get your stomach flat again faster postpartum.If you experience the condition of Diastasis Recti, you must modify your abdominal exercise.

     

    1. Modify your workout as you see fit, by being aware of your body. Listen to your body. Slow down if you are tired or not feeling well. If you feel terrific, and full of energy, take a advantage of it, stay active and have a good workout.

      Cool down properly, for at least 5-10 minutes. Avoid lying down, or positioning your head under your heart level, right after any aerobic activity. Your equilibrium may get out of balance, making you dizzy.

      Make sure to get a complete physical before you join any exercise class or start your own program, and get you and your exercise program evaluated periodically by your physician and/or trainer. Your program may need to be modified, or discontinued because of advancing stages in your pregnancy or a previously unknown risk factor.

      You must get written permission from your doctor or midwife to exercise, if you are planning to take a group organized aerobic, or prenatal class, or hire a personal trainer. The class organizer, health club, or instructor will also make you sign a waiver.

      Eat a light snack about half an hour before you workout, to prevent low blood sugar; preferably some fruit, juice, or other high carbohydrate food.

    2. Most of the physical changes caused by pregnancy stay around for about 12 weeks postpartum, but it can vary from woman to woman and may last up to 6 months. This means exercise routines should be started slowly, and should be gradually built back up again, depending on her condition.

    It's up to you and your caregiver to choose a suitable and appropriate exercise program for you.

    Essential Exercises for Every Pregnant Woman

    Whether you're an active or inactive pregnant woman, whether your pregnancy is normal and healthy or you're in a "high risk" category, there are 3 exercises you need to do:1. KEGEL'S Invented by Dr. Kegel in the 50's, this exercise is essential to prevent episiotomies, urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse whether you have a vaginal delivery or a C-section. The pelvic floor muscle acts as a supportive sling between the coccyx and pubic bone. They hold everything up, but as pregnancy weakens them, Kegel's become necessary.You may need to practice Kegel's a while before you get the hang of it. Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles and try to pull them up, as if to hold tight before you go to the bathroom. Let go without bearing down. Practice several times every day whenever you think about it -- in the car, at dinner, at the movies -- nobody will know.2. PELVIC TILTPelvic tilt for lower back stretching. Pelvic Tilt is an important exercise that stretches your lower back and strengthens your abs and glutes. This exercise can help relieve pregnancy related discomforts and postural problems in the lower back and hips and it tightens the buttocks.In the first trimester and postpartum, you can lie on your back, but during the second and third trimester, you can do it seated, standing, on all fours or lying on your side.Either way, tighten your buttocks, pull in the abs and tilt your pelvis forward and upward as you exhale. Release and inhale. Repeat for 2 x 15 repetitions.   

    3. ABDOMINALCONTRACTIONS Keeping your abs strong and fit during a pregnancy will help stabilize your trunk to minimize and prevent postural and back problems, help during labor contraction, minimize stretchmarks and help you get your stomach flat again faster postpartum.If you experience the condition of Diastasis Recti, you must modify your abdominal exercise.

    The PLANK is an excellent exercise performed either on you knees or toes depending on your personal strength. Hold your abs in to supprt your back. perform for 30-60 seconds. For 2 sets. if you are feeling strong, do the PLANK on your toes. Your body should be in a straight line from knees (or toes) to your shoulders. .

    exerciasde

    Either way, gently pull in the abs and contract them by shortening the distance between your shoulders and hips. You should feel the abs get harder. Exhale as you contract and inhale when you release. Repeat for 2 x 15 repetitions.

    Abdominal contraction.

  21. MOMS BENEFITS FROM PRENATAL EXERCISE

    • Improves fertility
    • Reduces effects of biomechanical changes to your body such as upper and lower back strain, sciatica, and knee pain by maintaining strength and proper spinal alignment for better posture.
    • Eliminates or reduces discomforts of water retention, tension, stress, depression, and excessive weight gain.
    • Prevents and treats pregnancy induced diabetes.
    • Improves calcium absorption to prevent hypertension, preeclampsia and future osteoporosis.
    • Minimizes stretch-marks, varicose veins, abdominal separation and hyperventilation.
    • Improves self-esteem and well-being.
    • Increases energy, stamina, fitness levels and muscle control for an easier pregnancy and a faster and less painful delivery.
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