Ask the Coach

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What is a healthy heart rate for working out while pregnant?

Most experts agree that maintaining light to moderate physical activity (PA) during an uncomplicated pregnancy has many benefits for the health of the mother and fetus. Exercise should not exceed pre-pregnancy levels. American College of Sports Medicine suggests that moderate to hard PA is quite safe for a woman who is accustomed to this level of exercise. Overall, pregnant women without complications have the same exercise guidelines as non-pregnant women – aim for 20-30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week. All guidelines suggest 60/150 minutes a week. Daily exercise is safe. Resistance training is recommended. There is no longer a limit on heart rate while pregnant, but you don’t want to over exert yourself.

For a healthy heart rate, use both objective (heart rate and maximum oxygen consumption) and subjective criteria (Borg’s Scale and talk test) to determine the effectiveness and safety of exercise. Women with gestational diabetes (GDM) on no insulin treatment do not need to take extra precautions during exercise. Due to their condition of hyperglycemia, they must comply with the recommendation issued for type 2 diabetes. The prescription and supervision of exercise should be carried out in a similar way as for uncomplicated pregnancies. Finally, women with GDM on insulin treatment need to follow the same recommendations as for those pregnant women with type 1 diabetes. Complicated pregnancies should be referred to a prenatal exercise specialist.
Does everyone need the same amount of water per day? How do you know how much water you need?

Drinking water is good for overall health and has zero calories. Water consumption prevents dehydration, promotes weight loss, makes up about 60% of your bodyweight, and your body depends on it to survive. Individual water needs vary according to your health, how active you are and where you live. About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men and 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women are recommended. These guidelines cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest drinks. Factors that also effect water consumption are: exercise, environment, health and pregnancy. You know you are well hydrated when you are rarely thirsty and your urine is pale yellow or clear. Drink up! It does a body good.

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Carla Gray, BSES, HFS, CPT is a personal trainer and can be reached at
info@fitnessconnection.net or (504) 885-7855.

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