Hi, with my first pregnancy I used to go to the gym all the time. When I found out I was pregnant I bought a heart rate monitor and did not let it get above a certain level (not sure have to look it up). I cut back on doing my step and high impact classes opting more for low impact workouts. I still did weights, and used the bikes, treadmills etc. Just watching my heart rate and that I was never fully exhausted and that I was well hydrated. Spinning classes are excellent. Towards the end of my pregnancy I switched to swimming laps. My first ds loved it and I could feel him rolling around in my belly when I was in the water.
I know that they have loosened up a bit on how much exercise you can do whilst pregnant. It also has to do with how active you were before you were pregnant too.
Here is some current information that might be of interest to you. In any case you should check with your doctor first and discuss your exercise routine with him/her to make sure it is okay for your situation. Happy exercising!
Recommendations for Exercise in Pregnancy
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and other groups have studied the benefits and hazards of physical activity in pregnancy and developed recommendations for exercise. These recommendations are highlighted in Table 8-1.
Current recommendations for exercise in pregnancy are less restrictive than in the past and reflect the conclusion that moderate levels of physical activity by healthy, well-nourished women pose no special risk to pregnancy. Pregnant women should exercise moderately, or at 50 to 60 percent of maximal heart rate for twenty to thirty minutes three times per week. Maximal heart rate, or MHR, represents your maximal oxygen utilization level, or VO2 max. Maximal heart rate represents the highest number of times your heart can beat per minute during periods of highly intense exercise. Brief bouts of exercise at 70 percent of MHR are considered okay. You can estimate your MHR from your age: 100 percent of MHR is estimated as 220 minus a person's age. (This formula may be somewhat undependable for pregnant women, who tend to have a higher heart rate than nonpregnant women.) To calculate 50 percent of MHR for a thirty-one-year-old, for example, you would subtract 30 from 220 and multiply the results times 0.5:
220 - 30 = 190
190 x 0.5 = 95 beats per minute
Exercise that results in a heart rate of 95 beats per minute would approximately equal 50 percent of MHR. To see if you are exercising at this level, you need to take your pulse and determine how many times your heart beats within a minute. Usually people count the number of pulses in ten seconds and then multiply that figure times 6 to calculate beats per minute.
Specific concerns about what exercises or levels of physical activity are safe and questions about how the presence of certain physical problems relate to exercise in pregnancy should be brought to the attention of your health care provider.
Table 8-1: Recommendations for Exercise in Pregnancy
- Do exercise moderately and regularly unless otherwise advised by your health care provider.
- Do emphasize non-weight bearing activities and those that don't require a keen sense of balance.
- Do wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing that allows heat to escape and moisture to evaporate.
- Do drink plenty of fluids during exercise; eat appropriately.
- Do consume a healthy diet and gain weight as recommended.
- Do exercise at 50 to 60 percent of maximal heart rate (or VO2 max)
- Don't exercise or perform physical work to exhaustion. Quit when you feel tired.
- Don't exercise while laying on your back in the second and third trimester.
- Don't exercise in hot, humid conditions.
- Don't perform activities that may traumatize the abdomen or uterus or cause you to lose your balance.
- Don't fast or exercise while you are hungry