Exercise and fitness are an important part of a healthy pregnancy. In addition to being good to your health, and the baby’s, exercise can help alleviate many of the negative symptoms associated with pregnancy.
Exercise releases endorphins, making you feel naturally happy and relaxed. You may be wondering how it’s possible to exercise, because pregnant women are often exhausted, but regular exercise can help boost your energy. Your stress levels will be down, while your energy levels will be up.
Though many pregnant women already experience the “glow”, exercise increases blood flow to the skin, improving the glow even more. You’ll feel more fit as well, and be better prepared for the birthing process. h2 muscles and a h2 cardiovascular system can really improve the labor and delivery process. After the baby is born, it’ll be easier to regain your pre-pregnancy body more quickly.
Types of safe pregnancy exercise
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends at least 30 minutes worth of exercise a day for most days of the week. The idea is to get the heart pumping, keep the muscles loose, and manage weight gain.
To improve your cardiovascular health, consider walking, swimming, low-impact aerobics or dancing. Walking can be done safely for all nine months, and costs nothing besides a pair of walking shoes.
Many gyms offer aerobics classes for pregnant woman, so you can find a class full of women who can relate. Dancing can be done in a class or through a DVD, but keep away from styles that requires overexertion. Avoid anything requiring bouncing or jarring movement.
For flexibility and strength, yoga, stretching, and weight training are great, when done safely. Yoga keeps muscle tone and flexibility, as does stretching. Weight lifting is a bit trickier, and you may need to keep the weights at a lower number. Use good technique and take the necessary precautions.
If you played sports before pregnancy, it’s a good idea to avoid them. Any sport that risks sudden falls or contact can be dangerous for the baby.
Tips for exercise
KidsHealth recommends coming up with a good exercise plan with your healthcare provider. Some medicinal conditions prohibit exercise during pregnancy, like preeclamsia or placenta previa. You and your healthcare provider can find the right balance of diet and exercise to ensure your safety, as well as the baby’s safety.
It’s never too late to start, even if you didn’t exercise before you became pregnant. The risks of exercise during pregnancy are very low, but you also don’t want to overdo it. A good rule of thumb is that if you are getting too winded to keep up a conversation, then you are pushing too hard.
Don’t exercise outdoors when it’s too humid or not. You don’t want the baby to become overheated. Stay hydrated while working out. Drinking fluids is important when you’re pregnant, and especially so when you’re working out. During the workout, consume fluids an hour before the workout and continue hydrating every 15 minutes.
Most importantly, listen to your body. It will tell you when you need to stop. As the baby grows, your center of gravity may change, increasing the chance of you losing your balance. This is especially common in the third trimester, so make sure you’re aware and alter your exercise accordingly.