Specific Sports Guidelines for Pregnancy

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Tips for Safe Jogging While Pregnant
  • Jog in the coolest part of the day.
  • Jog in air-conditioning if the temperature is above 80 degrees or humidity is above 90 percent.
  • Make sure you are always comfortable, not overexerting yourself, but feeling well.
  • Consider wearing a maternity support after the 5th month (see figure 15-1B).
  • Wear well-cushioned athletic shoes that are wide enough and fit well.
  • Wear an athletic bra with extra support.
  • Wear layered clothes that can be removed as you warm up.
  • Take water with you.
  • Stay within a 15-minute radius of home.
  • Consider jogging on grass to lessen impact.
  • Take a cell phone with you in case of emergency.
  • Be flexible with your workout goal and ready to decrease distance if you do not feel well.
  • Avoid strenuous hills.
  • Stick to populated areas.
  • Avoid sprinting.
  • Walk if you feel uncomfortable.
  • Wear a heart rate monitor and do not let your rate go over 150; 140 if you are over 40.
  • Spend the last 10 minutes walking to cool down.
Tips for Safe Swimming While Pregnant
  • Avoid crowded pools in which you might be kicked.
  • Avoid pools that feel too warm.
  • Keep a water bottle poolside and finish it by the time you are done.
  • Skip your "no breathers" until after pregnancy.
  • Stop and rest if you are short of breath.
  • Wear swim fins if you are having trouble moving through the water.
  • Stand in the pool or sit at the pool side for five minutes after swimming to avoid light-headedness or dizziness.
  • Avoid flip turns if they feel uncomfortable or lead to dizziness.
Tips for Safe Exercise Class Participation While Pregnant
  • Avoid crowded classes where you might bump into your neighbor.
  • Leave if the room becomes too hot.
  • Have water available, and drink every 10 minutes.
  • Work at your own pace, do not push yourself past what makes you comfortable.
  • Avoid advanced step or kickboxing classes due to risk of falls.
  • Do not participate in any repetitive bouncy or quick-stretching motions.
  • In the third trimester, do not lie on your stomach.
  • In the third trimester, lie on your side instead of your back whenever possible.
  • Use your own towel and wash your hands to prevent illness.
To date, no doctors or researchers can draw a specific line on what activities can and cannot be done during pregnancy. Everyone is different as to what they and their pregnancy can tolerate. However, to be sure, use the safe tips above and remember the following points: Make sure you are slowly gaining weight after the first trimester, about one pound per week; maintain your exercise activity at a lower level than you were doing before; make sure you are comfortable at all times during exercise. Remember that pregnancy changes actually improve your fitness level on its own. Your lower level of exercise will leave you extremely fit after pregnancy. Four to six weeks after a normal preg nancy and delivery, you should feel able to gradually return to your prior exercise routine and be back to feeling fit in two to three months.

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excerpted from:

From The Active Woman's Health and Fitness Handbook by Nadya Swedan. Copyright © 2003 by Nadya Swedan. Used by arrangement with Perigee, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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