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How to Have a Fit Pregnancy: What to Do Before Starting Pregnancy Exercises

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 10/5/2010

Before you embark on a fit pregnancy exercise program, follow these tips to prepare your body. Learn what may prevent you from exercising while pregnant, what to wear during pregnancy exercises and what to eat to have a fit pregnancy.

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    Get the OK

    Parts I and II of the “How to Have a Fit Pregnancy” series discussed the benefits of exercise for pregnant women and the best pregnancy exercises. Part III will provide some guidelines to help moms-to-be stay safe during pregnancy exercises.

    Before you embark on a pregnancy fitness routine, play it safe and check in with your doctor to discuss the right exercises for you. Certain medical conditions associated with pregnancy may force you to alter your routine or avoid exercise altogether. These conditions include, but are not limited to, preterm rupture of membranes, pregnancy-induced hypertension, poor fetal growth, or multiple birth pregnancy.

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    Outfit Yourself

    As your body changes, you’ll need to modify your wardrobe to accommodate your pregnancy. Choose sneakers that have good arch support and cushioning to avoid foot injuries. And treat yourself to a nice sports bra that provides good support and wicks sweat away from your body. Tops and pants are also available in sweat-wicking material. Wicking fabrics are preferred to cotton because they move moisture away from the body. Moist skin can prevent cooling and cause or make chafing worse. Investing in good exercise clothing will help you stay cool and comfortable. Keeping cool during pregnancy is really important since overheating can put your baby in danger.

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    Fuel Your Body

    Maintaining a healthy pregnancy diet is absolutely essential to both your baby’s health and your health. Eating a healthy pregnancy diet consisting of the right amount of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates will ensure that you and your baby get all the nutrients you need. Check with your doctor to determine the proper amount of calories you need to eat. And be sure to tell her that you’ll be doing regular workouts since your gym sessions will affect the amount of food you need to eat. Pregnancy alone speeds up metabolism, so when you workout, you must replace the energy you use during your workouts. (See the Resources section below for more information on getting the nutrients you need in your pregnancy diet.)

    In addition to watching your diet, you’ll also have to monitor your fluid intake. It’s important for anyone to stay hydrated, but it becomes particularly important when you’re drinking for two. Dehydration can cause birth defects or premature labor, so be sure you’re getting the water your body needs. And when it comes to exercise, drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workouts. Even if you are not breaking a sweat, you still have to drink: you can be dehydrated and not know it. You may want to purchase a special water bottle to carry with you on your workouts. Find out how much water it holds, and then make a point each day of drinking so many bottles full of water.

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    Resources

    • WebMD "Pregnancy Diet nutrients"
    • For specific guidelines on how to stay safe during your workouts, continue to Part IV, “How to Have a Fit Pregnancy: Staying Safe During Pregnancy Exercises.”