There are certain risk factors that predispose you to potential complications while exercising during pregnancy. These potential happenings are usually not a problem if you take the proper precautions. The key in preparing for and preventing mishaps is to look ahead, to know changes you can expect in your pregnant body.
Center of Gravity
Your center of gravity is located in the middle of your abdomen, just above your belly button or umbilicus. Usually, you will not notice any changes to this area until you are into your third or fourth month of pregnancy. Once your uterus has begun to grow out of your pelvic region, your center of gravity will shift upward.
This shift itself is not painful, nor is it cause for alarm. In fact, you will probably not even notice the changes taking place, as it is a gradual process. Your body will naturally adapt to most center of gravity changes. What you do need to watch for is the natural loss of balance that may occur that will probably continue throughout pregnancy, steadily growing as your abdomen does.
It's always wise to wear the appropriate footwear. This goes for times of exercise as well as in everyday life. A simple fall can shake you and leave you feeling unsteady. Don't let your footwear be the cause of it. In addition, always be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for loose flooring, slip rugs, and other objects that are easy to trip on.
Many women report that they feel off balance as their abdomen grows. You might experience this as well. The biggest danger is that the shift makes falls more likely. The good news is that even a serious fall is generally not harmful to your baby. He or she is tucked safely away in the amniotic sac, blissfully unaware of your most recent belly flop.
A shift in the center of gravity is more likely to cause problems with your posture as well. Posture is key to feeling good and looking good during your pregnancy. While exercising, simply be aware of your abdomen and try to remain conscious of the movements you are making and how you are moving. This awareness can help with any problems you might experience.
Joints and Flexibility
As with everything in pregnancy, your joints are also affected. This includes your elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, wrists, and ankles. The usual culprits, your hormones, namely relaxin, are to blame for the increased risk of injury to these areas.
Joints can be injured very easily during pregnancy. Using the warmup sessions and cool-downs, you can greatly reduce the risk of harming the joints during pregnancy. These exercises also have the added benefits of working your range of motion.
Previous Exercise Status
You can't pay attention to previous exercise habits enough during pregnancy. While it's perfectly acceptable to begin a mild exercise program if you've never exercised before, the problem is more with people who are used to exercising frequently prior to pregnancy. For these people, there is often a fear of exercising to the point of a good workout. If you've been exercising before your pregnancy, you can probably do the same workouts with only a few modifications for added safety. This is something that can be decided by taking cues from your body, your baby, and your practitioner.