Safety Recommendations and Special Considerations
Beginning Exerciser - No exercise prior to pregnancy.
No more than 15 minutes of continuous activity.
Intermediate/Moderate Exerciser - Engaged in activity prior to pregnancy (2-3 days per week). 30-45 minutes of continuous activity.
Advanced Exerciser - Engaged in vigorous exercise or competitive sports prior to pregnancy. 30-45 minutes of continuous activity or more with doctor recommendation.
- Dress in cottom clothes
- Dress in layers
- Wear a supportive bra or two bras (if necessary)
- Wear pants with expanded waist panel
- Support belt in late stages of pregnancy
- Avoid wearing baseball caps or closed hats while exercising indoors or in warm climates
Equipment and Activity
- Avoid rapid jarring movement
- Use no higher than 6-inch platform
- Approach bench from the floor
- Avoid moving backward on the bench
- No more than 3 sets of repeaters
- Continue to do strength-training exercises
- Full range of motion
- Do Kegel exercises to help strengthen the pelvic floor
- Do supine exercises (abdominal work)
- Limit to about 2 minutes
- Always follow activity by stretching the muscles worked - hold each stretch 20-30 seconds
- Do longer warm-up and cool-down (7-10 minutes)
- Bottom line - "Keep It Simple and Safe" (KISS)
Okay, I'd like to take some time to talk about some of the clothing that you should wear when you're active, especially if you're pregnant. Now if your postpartum, you don't have nearly the restrictions, but if you're pregnant there are some things to consider. One is cotton clothing. Cotton allows the body to dissipate heat a little bit better. It helps to keep from the core temperatures getting a little bit too high and it helps you evaporate heat, basically. Dressing in layers - Kelly is a real good example of this. The apparel that she's wearing today is made by Liz Lange for Nike. It is a dry fit. It allows sweat to evaporate or any moisture to evaporate. She's also dressed in layers, which is very appropriate. She has the shirt on top. She also has a support bra on and it's important to wear two bras when you're doing activity. If your postpartum and nursing, it might be really important for you to wear two bras, as well, if you need to, just to help keep your your breasts compact and tight to your chest. One of the things also with the outfit that Kelly has on is she's got this expanded waist panel. We're going to go ahead and show you that. It goes up and over the abdomen. It's real comfortable; it's not too tight or too compressing. But what's really nice is you can also get a version where they're lower cut. So, whatever would work best for you and whatever is best for your style and your comfort level. And then the other thing is Kelly's wearing support belt. The support belt is really important, especially in the third trimester of pregnancy. We have that wrapped around. You can wrap it all the way around the spine and then what you do is get it low underneath the umbilical chord on top of the pubis; that helps lend support for the belly, helps support the lower back, and usually used in further stages of pregnancy, especially with the second pregnancy. One other thing that you want to avoid doing is exercising with a hat on or a hat that's closed in. A visor's okay, especially if it's summertime, but a hat that's closed in...most of your heat is dissipated through your heat - eighty percent of it - so it's real important to allow your core temperatures to stay constant to not have something on your head. In relationship to activities and using different modes of fitness or different types of equipment, some of the things that we want to take into consideration is we want to avoid doing a rapid, jarring, type movements or quick move type movements. Always doing things through a full range of motion, we want to use a step and we don't want to use anything that is higher than 6 inches. Now this step is four inches - that would allow you to put one set of 2 inch razors underneath of it, which would make it six. So it's never higher than six inches. Four is always a safe spot to be, and if you don't even want to use a step, you do it right on the floor. When you're doing strength training exercises, we'll have Kelly demonstrate this using the weights. You want to approach the bench from the floor. So the right correct way to do it would be to approach the bench from the floor, going up, and then going down, and then doing your move. If it's a bicep curl, you would curl up, and then down. The way that you do not want to do it, is standing on top of the bench and going backwards, down, and up. You always want to be approaching the bench when you're executing the move from the floor. When you're doing repeaters, we're going to limit those to no more than three. So you might do three repeater knees on one side and then go and do three repeater kneeds on the other side, whichever is appropriate for you. Some additional things to consider: it's really important to continue to do strength training exercises and sculpting exercises. Do them through a full range of motion. Kegel exercises are good for keeping the pelvic floor strong. We can continue to do abdominal exercises through your entire gestation. If you have complications, you're probably going to cut back. You're probably not going to be doing the abdominal exercises. The general rule of thumb is no longer than two minutes in the supine position. The supine position would be laying on your back. Breathing exercises are really important. They really help with the labor process. And also making sure you're doing your stretching. Doing your stretches after your activity, holding each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. It's really important to make sure that you take a little bit longer time to do a warm-up and cool down before you gauge in your activity that would be 7 to 10 minutes. Typically, it's three to five minutes if you're pregnant. Give yourself 7 to 10 minutes to warm up before you start picking up your step. Also, the best thing to do is just focusing on the KISS principle. If you will keep it simple and keep it safe.