If you're used to living a healthy lifestyle and working out on a regular basis, there's no reason why that should change now that you're expecting a bundle of joy. Most moms want to eat well, feel good, and keep their bodies moving during those nine months. Of course, moms know that there are some foods they can't eat during pregnancy, like sushi, but they'll probably assume that they can still attend the trendy workout classes that they love so much.
The truth is, however, that there are a few movements that pregnant women shouldn't really do. Whether new moms listen or not is their prerogative, but it's a good idea to be aware of them. Here are 10 exercises to avoid during pregnancy.
10. Hot Yoga
What To Expect says that hot yoga is a no-go for pregnant women. This also applies to working out when it's really hot out.
The website says, "Any exercise or environment that raises your body temperature more than 1.5 degrees F should be avoided, since it causes blood to be shunted away from your uterus and to your skin as your body attempts to cool off. That means staying out of saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs, too."
This makes a lot of sense, especially since some of us find hot yoga too much to take even when we're not pregnant.
Going Super Hard
Before a woman gets pregnant, she might be used to really tough workouts. Many women love going hard in the gym because the payoff is worth the sweat and groans.
But when a woman gets pregnant, grueling workouts should definitely be a thing of the past. According to WebMD, "Pushing to the point of exhaustion may boost athletic performance, but when you're pregnant, it can reduce blood flow to your uterus. During exercise, you should be able to sing one round of 'Happy Birthday' without running out of breath. If you can’t, you're pushing too hard."
8. Abs For Days
How do you feel about ab exercises? Like many, you may love them or hate them. Some of us might love feeling like we have a strong core and others might wish that ab exercises weren't part of most group workout classes.
This is something that we have to be careful about during pregnancy.
According to What To Expect, movements that focus on our abs aren't the best idea during pregnancy. In fact, these should be avoided: "Advanced abdominal moves, like full sit-ups or double leg lifts, can pull on the abdomen, so they're best avoided when you're expecting."
7. Too Much Weight
While some people prefer running and all kinds of cardio, others are more into strength-training or exercises using their own body weight. We all get bored with our exercise routines, so it's nice to change it up once in a while.
When you're pregnant, however, lifting weights or doing too much weight-training is not the best idea. In fact, it's another type of exercise that should definitely be avoided.
According to Myvmc.com, pregnant women should avoid, "Heavy weight training lifts that involve maximal isometric muscle contractions are thought to put too much stress on the cardiovascular and musculoskeletalsystem."
We know that doing cardio is good for us, and many of us love taking group exercise classes that involve these kinds of fast movements. This could be dance cardio, a barre-based workout, or some kind of HIIT class.
Cardio classes involve a lot of jumps, from regular squat jumps to split lunges to tons of fancy variations. According to What To Expect, jumping is something that is to be avoided while pregnant: "Jumping, bouncing, and sudden, jerky motions are best avoided (although otherwise, aerobic activity is perfectly safe so as long as you’re comfortable and can easily keep your balance)."
5. Lying On Your Stomach
It sounds like this could be a reason why lying on your stomach while pregnant isn't recommended, either. Basically, being very careful around this area is the best thing to do, and taking classes with a trained fitness professional who can answer questions is good as well.
READ MORE: Exercises That Make Labor Easier
4. Lying Down
It's funny when we think that lying down is what we do when we're sleeping or watching TV, but it can also be part of a workout. We do all kinds of moves in yoga, Pilates, and barre classes that involve lying down on our backs.
Now, new moms might not know this, but it's not a good idea for pregnant women to lie down as part of a workout. WebMD says, "It’s fine to lie on your back for a few minutes. But as your uterus gets heavier, it can cut off circulation to your legs and feet, as well as to your baby. Avoid yoga poses, crunches, and any other activities that call for lying on your back longer than just a couple of minutes."
READ MORE: Pregnancy Workout Myths Busted
3. Standing Still
Sometimes, standing during a workout happens, like when you're told to try to hold a balance or when you're lifting weights in a stable position. It turns out, though, that standing during a workout isn't recommended for pregnant women, either!
According to Health magazine, there is a reason why. The magazine says, "Avoid workouts that have you standing in the same place, like lifting weights or holding yoga poses for prolonged periods of time. When you stand still for too long, you can decrease blood flow to the uterus and start to feel dizzy."
Don't Do These Two Things
Squats and lunges are a regular part of many workouts. Whether our thing is yoga, Pilates, barre, running, or CrossFit — the chances are we do these two movements at least a few times a week. We might not love them (okay, we might complain a lot), but we know that they make us stronger and help us feel good.
It turns out, though, that pregnant women shouldn't be doing intense squats and lunges. According to The Phsyio Company, pregnnat women should, "Avoid deep squatting and lunging as this can place too much pressure on the already relaxed ligaments around the pelvis."
1. HIIT Workouts
What's another type of workout that pregnant women should avoid? That would be high-intensity interval workouts. This might sound like a drag if you're used to doing these types of movements regularly, but there is a very good reason why.
According to Mom Junction, "During pregnancy, your heart works hard to meet the increased demand for blood. High-intensity interval workouts increase the heartbeat, thereby putting pressure on your heart. Your heart rate should not go beyond 140 beats per minute."
It's always better to be prepared, and as long as we know which workouts to avoid, we can create a workout schedule that works for us and our growing, beautiful baby.