Today’s topic is preventing injury during pregnancy, a guest post written by perinatal exercise specialist Jennifer Johnson, the founder of Fit for Expecting.
Physical activity carries with it a risk of injury, whether you’re pregnant or not. Safety for mom and baby is of utmost importance for preventing injury during pregnancy. No matter the type of activity you engage in, you should take extra care to reduce the likelihood of injuries during pregnancy.
Here are some tips for minimizing risk and preventing injury during pregnancy:
1. Stay away from activities with a high risk of falling or contact injury
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advises pregnant women to avoid activities with a high risk of falling such as gymnastics, horseback riding and skiing, contact sports such as basketball and soccer, and scuba diving as it puts your baby at risk for decompression sickness.
2. Be aware of your form, body mechanics and environment
It’s tempting to think of other things and let your mind wander while exercising. To minimize injury risk during pregnancy, be in the moment and focus on the task at hand. When you’re out for a walk or jog, noticing that there’s a crack in the sidewalk can prevent you from tripping, falling or twisting an ankle. Or, when lifting weights – even just light dumbbells – pay attention to your body mechanics. If the weight feels too heavy or uncomfortable and compromises your form, switch to a lighter weight.
3. Wear supportive, properly fitted shoes
Choose shoes that are appropriate for your activity of choice and make sure they are properly fitted and supportive. Your balance will most likely be off at some point during pregnancy, so supportive shoes may be key to preventing injury during pregnancy.
4. Use the talk test
One of the most reliable ways to monitor the safety of exercise during pregnancy is by using the “talk test”. It’s very simple – when exercising, you should be able to speak in sentences of 2-5 words in length. If that’s too difficult, decrease the intensity or take a break.
These tips for preventing injury during pregnancy are brought to you by Fit for Expecting. Fit for Expecting develops safe and effective exercise programs for moms during and after pregnancy. To learn more, or to have Fit for Expecting create an exercise program for you, visit the Fit for Expecting website.
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