A common misconception regarding pregnancy is that you should not exercise while you are pregnant. However, this is not the case. If you and your baby are healthy and your pregnancy is going fine, then exercise such as sit ups while pregnant is good for you. Not only would it be good for your health now but exercise would also help you during labor and ease the delivery of your baby. Nevertheless, it is important to ensure that you do not incur any fall, jolts or bumps during your exercise routine. One commonly asked question is when it is not safe to do sit ups while pregnant. Read on to learn about the answer as well as more tips.


Is It Safe to Do Sit Ups While Pregnant?

Initially in the pregnancy, sit ups and crunches are very safe to perform. However, later in the pregnancy, sit ups are not only difficult to perform but they can cause symptoms like dizziness, light headedness, pallor and a wave of nausea. The reason for this is that the enlarged uterus presses onto the big vein taking blood back to the heart and its compression can reduce the blood supply to the heart. As a result, you might feel dizzy and disoriented. If you do undergo these symptoms, simply turn on your left side and allow blood to resume its flow to the heart.

  • According to studies, sit ups can be done easily in the first four months of pregnancy before the size of the uterus enlarges. Exercise in moderation is good for your body, but when you exercise (after consultation with your doctor), be sure to monitor your breathing and exercise in a comfortable place. The atmosphere should be such that you feel comfortable in it and the climate is right. It is important to realize that you should stop immediately in case there is any pain in the abdomen, vaginal discharge or any other alarming symptom.
  • Another problem is that in early pregnancy, rapid drops in blood pressure can be seen by the mother when she lies down. This is because of the inhibition of blood supply due to weight on the blood vessels. This problem is more likely to be expected after 20 weeks of pregnancy although it can occur in the first trimester too.

Should You Have a Check Up Before Staring to Exercise?

Checking in with your doctor depends on how active you were before your pregnancy. If you have always been conscientious about your exercise regimen and have no complications so far, you may carry on with some slight modifications. You can seek the advice of your midwife or your doctor regarding the kind of exercise suited for you and your baby.

If, however, you have never exercised before and are just getting started, then you must definitely have a check-up before starting. It is best not to take up strenuous exercises at the beginning. Start slowly with some light and moderate exercises.

Besides sit ups while pregnant, when starting aerobic programs like cycling, walking, running or swimming, you must inform your instructor that you are pregnant. Begin with fifteen minutes of continuous exercise thrice a week and gradually build up to half hour sessions four times per week.

More Tips and Precautions on Working Out During Pregnancy

1. Exercises Recommended

Keep in mind that exercising in pregnancy does not always mean formal exercise sessions. All types of activities like household chores, walking to work, gardening, taking the stairs count as exercise.

Most exercises are safe to do during pregnancy but if you want to be a hundred percent sure, then you should ask your doctor or midwife.

The best exercises for you are aerobic exercises, brisk walking, swimming and aquanatal classes. Yoga and pilates are also beneficial because they help you strengthen muscles. However, you must ensure that your instructor is qualified to teach pregnant women.

2. Exercises to Be Avoided

Because you are pregnant, your ligaments are softened due to the effect of hormones in anticipation of the birth of the baby. It is therefore important for you to be careful while exercising. Contact sports or high risk sports like horse riding, mountain climbing, skiing, basketball, football and racket sports are all best avoided. They can be hard on your joints and can cause injury. Furthermore, these sports make you vulnerable to sprains, falls and jolts which can be dangerous for you and your baby.

3. Wear Properly

It is important to wear comfortable clothes that fit you during exercise. You can try wearing layers of loose clothing that can be easily removed, so that you do not overheat. Choose between a maternity bra and a sports bra whichever you find comfortable. When it comes to shoes, you must have a comfortable pair of well fitted shoes, so that your feet and joints have adequate support while exercising.

4. Form a Habit

If you are new to exercise, start with three sessions of fifteen minutes in a week. Gradually increase your stamina and build your habit of exercising for thirty minutes, four to five times per week. Stay committed to your exercise regimen so that you stay fit and get more benefit out of it.

5. Warm Up

Warming up is important if you want to protect your body against injury. Warm up prepares your body for exercise and decreases the chance of straining a muscle or damaging a joint.

6. Keep Hydrated

It is easy for a pregnant woman to be dehydrated during exercise. Drink plenty of water before exercising and also keep a bottle of water with you at all times. Water is important to regulate your body temperature and to prevent you from overheating. So take frequent sips of water while exercising and do an indoor exercise routine if the weather outside is hot and humid.

7. Don’t Overdo It

Do not exhaust yourself. Exercise should leave you feeling fresh. If you feel tired or hurt, then that could be the body’s way of telling you to slow down.

Moderate exercises are best for pregnancy because your aim is to maintain health rather than to attain peak fitness.