As a general rule of thumb you can generally keep doing any exercise, including a dance class, you have been previously doing when you fall pregnant, as long as your body feels OK and your doctor doesn’t advise against it.
Can I Take A Dance Class When Pregnant? Yes, as long as your body feels OK
If your doctor has vetoed strenuous exercise because your pregnancy is high risk or you have a physical condition which prevents strenuous exercise then you should not participate, but if you’re feeling OK then it should be fine.
Remember that once you are pregnant its fine to continue with exercise you have been doing, but you should speak with your doctor or health care professional before you undertake new exercises.
What happens when you fall pregnant?
When you fall pregnant, your body changes. There are changes to your heart function and there are changes to your metabolism. If you can understand your body you can make a better decision about the exercise you want and need to do.
Firstly, the amount of blood in your body increases quite early in your pregnancy. This means that the amount of blood being circulated by your heart increases so your heart is working harder. With all of that extra work your heart is doing, your body is going to get tired more quickly. No matter how mild your work out is, you’re going to find physical activity more difficult.
You will also notice that your heart rate takes longer to get back down to normal because of all that extra blood. After a workout, you can take as long as 15 minutes to get back to a regular heart resting rate.
What About Your Muscles?
Because the hormones in pregnancy that are pumping around your body are designed to expand your uterus and weaken the connective tissue getting it ready for childbirth, you are at a higher risk of muscle tears and strains. Jumping, jarring and twisting may put you at greater risk of injuring yourself.
How to make dancing in a strenuous dance class safer
There are a few things you can do to lower the intensity of your dance class without missing out on all of those exercise benefits.
- Always have at least one foot on the floor
- Don’t jump to the side, side step instead
- Use fewer or less intense arm movements
- Avoid quick turns
While its always important to discuss your exercise routine with your doctor or health care professional before you proceed, making a few adjustments to your dance class can help make a big difference. And remember, we’re all different. If you’re pregnant and you’ve been dancing every day since you were four there is no guarantee that you are going to dance until two days before you give birth. Likewise a woman who takes a class once a week may be fine to continue for the term of her pregnancy.
Don’t be guided by others, be guided by your body. You’ve got precious cargo on board, don’t let a dance class get in the way and injure you or your baby because you thought you should be able to dance. Listen to your body and listen to your doctor.