Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy
This one is simple: Aim to work out three to five times a week for 30 to 45 minutes each time. Don’t do more than 60 minutes of sustained exercise on any given day, including your warm up and cool down. The key here is to be consistent enough to get results but not overdo it to the point of exhaustion, which is just plain bad for you, pregnant or not. Now is not the time to push yourself too hard. Remember that rest and recovery are critical components of any fitness regimen, pregnant or otherwise.
Most sports are fine for you if you are already doing them, but there are a few things to avoid right now:
From a fall, getting hit with a ball, or impact with another human. Sports like surfing, ice-skating, wakeboarding, gymnastics, horseback riding, and any other activity where there is a high risk of falling should be avoided, especially considering your balance is not going to be what it normally is for a while. Steer clear of contact sports like soccer, basketball, or hockey. This is not the time to be slide tackling a forward or bodychecking a point guard.
Sports that occur either above or below sea level should also be considered exempt during pregnancy. Scuba diving can put your baby at risk of decompression sickness resulting from changes in atmospheric pressure surrounding your body. Sports that occur at extreme elevations, like downhill skiing or mountain climbing, are not a good idea now, either. The lack of oxygen at these altitudes may cause altitude sickness for you and your little one. If you are currently living in the mountains of Denver and your body is already adapted to the elevation, then by all means exercise to your RPE tolerance as recommended above—but this is certainly not the time to go climbing Kilimanjaro.
Make sure you are properly hydrated and your blood sugar is stabilized before exercising. Blood sugar levels can fall rapidly during prenatal training sessions. Have a little snack about an hour before you exercise that has some complex carbohydrates and protein in it. Also, don’t forget to hydrate—before, during, and after! Try to drink about 6 to 8 ounces of water for every 15 minutes of exercise, and never work out when you are dehydrated. The best way of identifying your hydration level is the color of your urine. If your pee looks like watered-down lemonade, you are good to go; if it looks more like apple juice, hold off until you have had a chance to rehydrate yourself.