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Is It Okay To Still Work Out When I’m Pregnant?

Some women who like exercise ask themselves, “is it OK to still work out when I’m pregnant?” The answer is yes – but there are buts!

If you’re pregnant, you probably have niggling concerns not just about the life changes ahead, but changes to your body, too.

It happens to the best of us: when Kim Kardashian was pregnant with her son Saint, she was (very) open about how ‘terrified’ she was about gaining too much weight, tweeting in the dead of night:

“Can’t sleep & I’m googling double chin exercises! I’m petrified to get one!”

She hired renowned celebrity trainer Tracey Anderson to help her push herself into pregnancy workouts. Anderson, of course, is quite the taskmaster, once intoning:

“A lot of women use pregnancy as an excuse to let their bodies go, and that’s the worst thing.”

It runs counter to what expectant mothers have been told for decades: rest up, eat for two and enjoy those final days of freedom while you can. But celebrity culture has created a very different – some might say startling – precedent.

When you’re pregnant, a punishing daily workout is unnecessary. Still, it’s good to do some sort of activity for 20-30 minutes per day like walking, running or swimming.

In fact, a light swim or walk will banish those feelings of tiredness and provide a much-needed energy boost.

So, the answer to “can I still work out when I’m pregnant?” is yes – but you have to be careful.

The most important thing before pregnancy exercise is to check with your doctor first. Don’t attempt a new regime while pregnant, but if you are used to working out, you will actually benefit greatly from keeping up a routine. The trick is to find what you enjoy best before you get pregnant and stick to a less intense routine during your pregnancy.

Give your body time to recover, too. You don’t want to over-train your muscles during pregnancy when you are more likely to cause injury due to the relaxin hormone that the body produces while pregnant (in order to make the body ‘looser’ ahead of childbirth).

Any exercise plan that involves working out the muscles and core especially with a good stretch routine will help avoid issues like lower back problems. As an added bonus, relaxing forms of exercise like yoga and Pilates will stand you in even greater stead at crunch time, in the delivery room.

As for the optimum amount of weight you should gain during your pregnancy? Expect to gain between 25 and 30 pounds throughout – 1 to 5 pounds in the first trimester, and about a pound per week for the rest of the pregnancy.

Sounds like there’s room for at least a little bit of chocolate in there to us.

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