As a fitness-lover, one of the first questions I asked my doctor when I found out I was pregnant was if/how I should exercise. I think a lot of us women ask this question for a number of reasons. The thing is, most women can and should exercise when pregnant. Unless your pregnancy is high risk or you’ve been ordered by your doctor to stay in bed, there is no reason you can’t exercise while pregnant.
I know we sometimes get funny about studies, but they show that there are numerous benefits to exercising while pregnant. A few of them being improving energy levels, getting your blood pumping to your legs thus improving your circulation, and improving chances for a speedy recovery. In fact, most moms who worked out during pregnancy generally had shorter and easier labours. I can personally testify.
SO, what sort of exercise is safe and beneficial during pregnancy? Here are some generally good and safe exercises that are recommended:
Walking is low impact but still gets one’s heart rate up and blood pumping. That’s what makes it the best overall exercise for pregnant mothers. It’s usually safe throughout the entire pregnancy.
When it comes to pregnancy, swimming is the number one exercise. It’s also the safest!
Swimming alleviates the heaviness you feel from weight gain associated with pregnancy. It also provides you with optimal cardiovascular benefits and helps you feel light and refreshed.
Yoga can help you maintain your muscle tone and stretch out tight ligaments during pregnancy. Be sure you investigate a pre-natal yoga class if at all possible.
Jogging can be done safely if you are an experienced jogger. However, further along your pregnancy you should reduce your jogging regimen. They say if you are not able to have a conversation when jogging, then you are overdoing it.
#5 Weight Training
Weight training is a great way to maintain and build muscle during your pregnancy. Just as long as you avoid heavy weights and weight bearing exercises that require you to lie on your back
#6 Swiss ball
The Swiss ball was my life saver during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. It strengthens the legs, back and core muscles. Apparently it also induces labour so great for exercise especially in the third trimester.
All this said, it’s advisable to consult with your doctor or physician before you start any exercise program. Most pregnant women are fine to work out particularly if they’ve been active before. However, if you’re just starting a new program, be sure to take it easy initially.
A few tips:
- commit to exercising regularly. Generally 30 minutes of exercise 4-7 days per week is recommended.
- Try and stay hydrated.
- STOP any exercise if you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded.
- embarking on any stringent exercise program you are unfamiliar with
- getting your heart rate much over 140
- overheating – it can be dangerous for your and your baby
- running and other jarring activities unless you are a very experienced runner. Even then you should consult with your physician.
Also don’t forget the importance of warming up before any and all activity. Warm up reduces the likelihood of injury and it helps your heart rate return to normal.
If you’re pregnant, CONGRATULATIONS, and good luck. Have fun with exercise too!
Are you pregnant? Have you been pregnant OR Do you know someone who’s pregnant? Do the above sound correct? Would love to hear your thoughts.
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