Following are a few commonly asked questions around fitness at this special time of your life.
#1 Can I run while pregnant?
This question is first answered with a question, “were you running before you became pregnant?” If the answer is no, now is not the best time to start. There are other activities that provide you with adequate exercise, like walking and yoga, without the added stress to your joints. If you were running already, the best advice is to ask your doctor. Every pregnancy is different, and a one-on-one discussion with your doctor regarding your personal health goals and physical abilities is the best way to determine what type of exercise is best for you.
For additional tips on running and working out while pregnant, read The Ultimate Guide to Running While Pregnant from Fitness Magazine.
#2 Are compression socks safe to wear when pregnant?
Compression socks can help keep your legs healthy during pregnancy. Common leg problems during pregnancy are the development of varicose veins, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), and hormonal changes that increase blood coagulability (a measurement of how easily blood clots). Blood flow is restricted as the uterus expands and the body changes. While blood volume increases, the hormonal changes in the body can cause the vein walls to dilate and lose elasticity.
Compression socks will help alleviate leg pain, reduce swelling, and the tired heavy feeling in your legs. They also may prevent spider veins, varicose veins, and edema. Crazy Compression socks have a 15 to 20mmhg TRUE graduated compression. This means they are tighter around the feet and ankle and slowly decrease in compression as it moves up your leg.
The graduated compression prevents the blood from pooling in the veins and keeps the blood traveling in the direction it is meant to go, back towards your heart.
#3 Can I sleep in compression socks?
The best time to put the socks on is in the morning, right after waking and then wearing them for the full day. This, however, does not mean you can’t wear them to bed. While most people take them off to sleep, the majority of doctors at VeinDirectory.org agree that there is no harm in occasionally wearing a graduated compression knee-high sock while you sleep.
Another solution, if you are experiencing discomfort at night, is to elevate your legs with a pillow under your feet. If discomfort continues, speak to your OB/GYN. You may be in need of a higher graduated compression that requires a doctor’s prescription.
#4 How can I keep my legs healthy during pregnancy?
- Always talk to your doctor about any changes regarding your exercise routine as well as pain or swelling in your legs.
- Stay active. How your workout may change as you seek lower impact activities but staying on the move will help your overall health. Go for daily walks or try to swim aerobics. Many gyms offer pregnancy classes.
- Stay hydrated and avoid salty foods that can add to the swelling.
- Don’t sit or stand for too long. Keep your legs moving. Your circulation is affected when you sit still or stand for long periods of time. Change your position to keep the blood flowing.
- When you rest, keep your legs slightly elevated to help fight the pull of gravity.
- Wear Compression socks. These help to promote blood circulation and move the blood flow back towards your heart. Plus, they come in fun, cool designs!
Swelling in your feet during pregnancy is normal. However, it can also be painful. Having a quality pair of compression socks will help keep you comfortable.