HEART RATE MONITORING AND PREGNANCY
Heart rate monitoring is a must while exercising during pregnancy. Here's an excellent article discussing use of heart rate monitor to choose appropriate heart rate for working out comfortably.
The important points you should follow are –
• Work out at a comfortable pace without being out of breath or exhausted,
• Choose your appropriate heart rate using a monitor based on your comfort level and
• Always check with your doctor first before exercising during pregnancy.
During and after your pregnancy, be determined to stay not only in shape but also fit and healthy throughout. You can get back into shape as quickly as possible afterward your pregnancy with the help of proper exercise routine.
Comfortable zone means you could still carry on a conversation and did not feel overly fatigued or exhausted during or after your exercise.
As an obstetrician I usually advice my patients to keep their heart rate fairly low with no high intensity, while exercising during pregnancy. Do not let your heart rate go above 140 beats per minute while working out. It is dangerous for a pregnant woman to let her heart rate get too high during exercise.
Then I began wondering about this 140 beats per minute – rule of thumb. How could this apply to everyone? Women come in different sizes, shapes, ages, and levels of fitness. How could this number work for everyone? I did my own research about women exercising throughout their entire pregnancies. I found out they all had healthy babies but said they exercised comfortably.
I believe being comfortable is the proper rule of thumb rather than a specific number.
What I discovered is that there is not any single magic number that fits all women for a safe maximum heart rate while working out when pregnant. There are many numbers and one of them will be just right for each individual. You have to get out there and experiment to find out what your special heart rate number is.
To monitor your heart rate manually –
you need to stop and take your pulse. This is not very convenient, or accurate, for that matter. You would have to stop frequently and it is not accurate like a heart rate monitor. The reason for this inaccuracy is because every time that you stop and then try to get an accurate pulse, your heart rate has already fallen.
The best way to do this is with the help of a heart rate monitor.
Find your comfortable heart rate zone with the help of a monitor. It is different for everyone. A heart rate monitor displays your heart rate continuously so that you know your heart rate for the entire workout. It even tells you what your average heart rate is for the entire workout. This gives you more peace of mind.
It has made exercising a lot easier and you can feel much more comfortable being able to constantly monitor your heart rate while exercising.
That is why I knew that heart rate monitor would be an invaluable tool to be able to check your heart rate at all times and play it safe.
So, all of you pregnant women who want to continue exercising, whether it be running, walking, cycling, swimming, aerobics or whatever else,
follow these guidelines –
• Find a good heart rate monitor.
• You should never get out of breath or feel exhausted.
• Find your comfortable zone and stick with it.
• Your zone will probably change as you get further along in your pregnancy.
• Always wore your heart rate monitor while exercising and keep your heart rate within your comfortable range.
• And never, ever engage in any form of physical activity without the express permission of your doctor.
• Do something healthy for you and your baby. Get a workout, but don’t overdo it.
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