Safe exercise - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 08-31-2008, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering what exercise is considered safe in pregnancy. I had been doing high-intensity cardio classes maybe 1 or 2 days a week, running 3 miles or so 1 day a week, and lifting weights to muscle-failure 2 days a week. I had slacked off the last month or so though and only been going sporadically (1 or 2 days a week) when I discovered I was pregnant.

I had a miscarriage last time, not related to working out or anything, but I am really squeamish about lifting weights, running, or doing anything "high-impact". My plan was to stick with cardio machines like the elliptical and the stair climber and then do yoga a couple times a week.

What is considered safe exercise when pregnant? Does it vary based on how far along? Are high-impact classes OK (like cardio kick-boxing), those classes where they do high reps with low-weights, sit-ups and push-ups, running? These aren't necessarily in my comfort zone when pregnant, but its good to know!

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#2 of 13 Old 08-31-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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The rule of thumb I've noticed is that it's okay to continue anything you've been doing, with care. Last time, I remember the OB putting some kind of arbitrary limit on weight-lifting--don't remember what it was, but probably high-rep/low weight stuff works. Walking is always good. Yoga, particularly if it's specifically a prenatal class. Swimming or water fitness classes are good.

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#3 of 13 Old 08-31-2008, 07:29 PM
 
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I am reading this book right now and it's excellent. It is written by the MD who has done over a solid decade of research on this subject.

http://www.amazon.com/Exercising-Thr...0218020&sr=8-1

In a nutshell he says that you can keep doing what you're doing. He studied women who performed moderate to high intensity strenuous high impact exercise for 40-50 minutes at a time up to five days a week, and there were many benefits and seemingly no actual dangers.

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#4 of 13 Old 09-01-2008, 12:13 PM
 
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yeah i'd say you can continue what you're used to (keeping in mind that what you were used to a month ago might be a bit more than you're currently used to if you'd stopped for a while) but pay close attention to how your body reacts. and stay super hydrated.
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#5 of 13 Old 09-01-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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I was exercising 6 days a week for an hour on the ellipitcal machine and burning about 500 calories per workout. Then when I got pregnant, but before I KNEW I was pregnant I noticed I just didn't have the same energy so I was doing like 30-40 minutes. I was wondering what the heck was wrong with me because I was really used to that 1 hour level. So when I found out I was pregnant it all made sense. I had naturally slowed down a little.

My OB said to keep doing what I'm doing but to make sure to drink lots of water, eat some fruit before exercising, and to keep my heart rate under 140. I wasn't exercising during my first two pregnancies so I'm really glad I'll be able to continue this habit during this one.

it's also essential for keeping my blood sugar under control.
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#6 of 13 Old 09-02-2008, 05:16 PM
 
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Everything I read and everything I have been told is that it is fine to continue whatever you were doing, just don't fatigue yourself too much. Women who horseback ride regularly can safely continue to do so. But someone who has never done it shold wait until after pregnancy to take it up. SO if you are used to intense workouts you can still do them. I had a women in my spinning class up until she gave birht. She simply did some modifications towards the end of the pregnancy and she would usually stop about 15 minutes before the rest of us. I was training to hike in S. America the first time around and I continued to do so until I got too tired. THis time around I haven't changed anything aside form not pushing myself too much. I know my limits and I don't want to be wiped out by 6p when I have a toddler to attned to.

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#7 of 13 Old 09-02-2008, 11:35 PM
 
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How about skiing?

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#8 of 13 Old 09-03-2008, 02:28 PM
 
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I have read that scuba diving, skiing, snow boarding, and horseback riding are no gos during pregnancy.
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#9 of 13 Old 09-03-2008, 03:29 PM
 
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Scuba diving caution has to do with the pressure issues. Other things--cycling and skiing probably fall into these categories--are drastically affected by the change in the center of gravity as you get bigger, so should be undertaken with caution. Let's face it, fall off a bike at 20 mph and you're going to get hurt, possibly badly, regardless of pregnancy status.

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#10 of 13 Old 09-03-2008, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by nancy11 View Post
How about skiing?
I think this is one of those individual choices you have to make. Most (though not all) women I know tend to not ski when they're pregnant. With my last pregnancy, I skied several days at 17 wks and again at about 25 wks. But, I've been skiing my whole life, am a very confident skier, and did go a bit more cautiously so as to minimize the risk of falling.
My MW assured me that it would be pretty impossible for me to hurt the baby, who is well cushioned, unless it was an extremely horrific fall that also did damage to me, though she worried that *I* would worry even with a small fall, and for that reason urged some caution.
In the end, I decided it was an activity I was comfortable with, and a level of risk (which I also accept for getting in my car while pregnant, for instance) that I was comfortable with. But I understand why other women make different decisions.
I do think it should depend in part on your level of comfort and confidence on skis.

I've also hear that scuba diving is a no-go for pressure reasons. as for cycling, I did it until I was big enough that it was uncomfortable on my racing bike. But it was such a gorgeous day near the end of my pregnancy that I did rent and upright cruiser bike and go for a 20-mile ride 3 days after my due date... I'm sure I got some odd looks from people, but I didn't feel like I was doing anything remotely dangerous. The chance of falling was pretty much nil.
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#11 of 13 Old 09-04-2008, 12:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by acp View Post
In the end, I decided it was an activity I was comfortable with, and a level of risk (which I also accept for getting in my car while pregnant, for instance) that I was comfortable with. But I understand why other women make different decisions.
I do think it should depend in part on your level of comfort and confidence on skis.

Thanks for the honest feedback. I'm a pretty solid skier. I expect that if l can't fit into my gear, however, that I will likely not bother. Plus the trip I want to take is in February and that would put me at 6 months, or so. I'm thinking that I may have to settle for staying in the lodge.

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#12 of 13 Old 09-04-2008, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by nancy11 View Post
I expect that if l can't fit into my gear, however, that I will likely not bother.
I couldn't fit into my gear the last time I skied, at around 6 months, but found that I could put on my ski pants unzipped with a Bella Band. Don't know if this would work for you or not - just throwing it out there.
I'm wrestling with the same thing this year. Last time I was due in June, this time it's the beginning of April. So unless I go skiing around Christmas time or in January, I may be farther along than I feel I can comfortably ski or will be able to fit into my pants even with the help of a Bella band. I guess I'll just make that decision when it comes....
And in addition to staying in the lodge (which isn't all bad) you could also go hiking, snowshoeing, or x-country skiing, all less high-impact. I enjoyed x-country skiing quite a bit when I was pregnant, though I was pretty careful to take it fairly easy when I was in Colorado, since my MW told me I should be more cautious about doing strenuous exercise at high altitude.
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#13 of 13 Old 09-05-2008, 01:47 AM
 
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Some good pointers. We usually hit Utah, which isn't as elevated. I'm excited to think that I can give it a try, though.:

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