Although you may be tempted to take it easy during pregnancy, healthy physical activity is beneficial to your health and that of your baby. Exercise in early pregnancy can even alleviate some pregnancy symptoms like constipation and fatigue. With a few precautions, there is no reason you shouldn't continue a healthy program of light running or jogging during your first trimester and beyond.
If you have already been jogging for a period of time, you shouldn't have problems continuing throughout pregnancy. Americanpregnancy.org indicates that most women can continue their exercise routine without increasing the risk for miscarriage in normal-risk pregnancies. It may be beneficial to continue jogging especially through the first trimester, when you are less likely to be showing and still feel somewhat comfortable. Moderate exercise starting early in pregnancy can help you avoid excess weight gain and keep you in shape for labor in a few short months.
Starting a New Routine
Light to moderate exercise is essential for health, but if you haven't been actively jogging prior to conception, check with your doctor to make sure your pregnancy is not high risk. Once you are cleared for physical activity, start out slowly. Jog for three minutes, then walk for two minutes until you have made it to 20 minutes. Work your way up to jogging the full 20 minutes, and increase the length of your jog from there if you wish. The Mayo Clinic suggests 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily.
Even as an avid jogger, it's important to remember that early pregnancy brings many changes that can be particularly apparent during exercise. Blood supply increases as much as 50 percent in the first trimester, and your heart works harder to pump that blood throughout your body to supply nutrients to your growing baby. As a result, you may become short of breath and tire faster. Your breasts may increase in size and sensitivity during your first trimester, so invest in a comfortable sports bra. Additionally, a maternity support belt can make jogging more comfortable as your belly becomes heavier in later pregnancy.
Keep your health and safety first and foremost during any fitness regimen. Mayo Clinic obstetrician and medical editor-in-chief Roger W. Harms notes that although there were prior recommendations to keep a pregnant woman's heart rate around 140 beats per minute, there are no longer imposed limitations. Despite that, if you ever feel short of breath, dizzy, nauseous or if you experience any cramping, take a break and have something to eat or drink immediately. If your symptoms do not subside or become worse, contact your doctor immediately.
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