Warming up and cooling down after exercise is more important than it seems. With our fast-paced lives, it’s easy to forget and want to dive headfirst into action.
But hold on, don’t do that! Here are some awesome reasons why you should pay attention to your warm-up and cool-down routines (especially now that you’re pregnant!). Warming up prepares your muscles and body to handle what’s coming and gives a little boost to your blood flow. On the other hand, cooling down lowers your heart rate and brings your body back to its normal temperature. Skipping these two stages could leave you feeling dizzy and nauseous.
Who likes falling or getting hurt? Nobody! So take the time to warm up and cool down every time you exercise. Warm-ups and cool-downs usually take about 10 minutes and can include things like taking a walk along with calm stretching exercises.
Speaking of stretching, it’s your ticket to maintaining flexibility during pregnancy and preventing pains and tense muscles. Your body is going through a lot of changes during this stage, so don’t demand the same as before. Adapt and go with the flow!
Here are some tips to make the most out of your stretches:
- Go slow and gentle (that way, your ligaments can relax).
- Don’t force any stretch, it’s not a competition.
- No jumping or sudden movements.
- Don’t overstretch, and don’t push beyond your limit.
- Breathe, breathe, breathe (don’t hold your breath).
- If you sometimes suffer from back pain, stretch to relieve some tension (a Bosu ball will be your best ally!).
For the first trimester, don’t stretch on your back, as it can affect blood flow to your baby. Listen to your body, enjoy those endorphins, and don’t forget to warm up and cool down!