Health / Pregnancy

Modifying Techniques for Safe Workouts During Pregnancy

Enjoy a comfortable, fit pregnancy with these easy modifications.

The majority of healthy women can continue, or even start, exercising when they become pregnant. It’s key. though, to learn how to modify your workout so that you can comfortably exercise through the end of your pregnancy. The core of cardiovascular training consists of four factors: exercise intensity, duration, frequency, and type. Trainers use these four components when developing a fitness program for all populations. Some fine-tuning during pregnancy is needed to keep things safe, though. Read on for pregnancy workout modifications you can try right away.

Focus on how you feel.

The most important safety point is to closely monitor how you feel both during and after exercise. The challenges of pregnancy can frequently change how well you tolerate your fitness program from week to week. As your pregnancy progresses, incorporating the following modification techniques into your routine can help you to continue exercising. When exercise starts to feel too difficult or you run into challenges completing moves, it’s a sign that your routine needs a change.

Reduce Intensity

Try slowing down the pace of your workout. For example, if you’re running you can slow to a jog, or switch to walking, if you start to feel out of breath. See if your fitness routine starts to feel more comfortable with an intensity drop, and, if so, continue with your usual duration, frequency, and type of exercise.

Divide and Conquer

If reducing your intensity isn’t helping, think about breaking up your duration into two bouts. Break a 40-minute workout into two 20 minute workout. You can also try reducing the total time by five to ten minutes. Modifying intensity and duration may allow you to continue with your usual exercise. If after modifying you still feel discomfort, try cutting one active day from your frequency. Sometimes, your body just needs more rest, so you may be able to increase your workout frequency again, as your body adjusts.

Try Something New

If your usual workouts are too uncomfortable, try switching to another activity. If you’re a runner, but can’t continue because of joint or round ligament discomfort, try a non-weight-bearing exercise, such as stationary cycling. In many cases, a switch to non-weight-bearing exercises—like swimming, biking, or those performed on some types of stationary equipment—can help ease up joint and muscle discomfort.

More pregnancy workout modifications:

Continue to be creative with your fitness routine, so you can reach the finish line of pregnancy as fit as possible. You and your baby will benefit from consistent exercise performed during your pregnancy.

Catherine Cram is an exercise physiologist and a leading expert in the field of maternal fitness. Her consulting company, “Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness” specializes in providing the most current maternal exercise information and continuing education courses to health and fitness professionals.

Health Pregnancy

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