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Pregnancy Exercise

Exercising while pregnant can benefit you and your baby. This article has guidelines for pregnancy exercise, as well as some things you can do as part of your pregnancy exercise program, and things to avoid when exercising during pregnancy.

Pregnancy exercise is one of the best things you can do while you are pregnant. This is especially helpful when it comes to maintaining your health during pregnancy, as well as making your body stronger. On top of that, you will find that if you are healthy during your pregnancy, you will return to your pre-pregnancy weight faster. However, it is important to realize that starting an exercise program while you are pregnant can be stressful to you and the baby. You should start slow, and consult with your health care provider about new pregnancy exercises. Indeed, even if you were exercising before your pregnancy, you should consult with your physician. It is important to make sure that your health care provider is aware of your exercise program, and is guiding you. You shouldn't exercise to lose weight during pregnancy.

Guidelines for pregnancy exercise

You want to be sure that you are exercising in a way that will not harm your growing baby. As a result, the American Pregnancy Association offers some helpful guidelines for pregnancy exercises:

  1. Start slowly if you are just beginning an exercise program. You do not want to over exert yourself.
  2. Pay attention to the signals you are receiving from your body. Reduce the level of exercise when your body indicates that it is time.
  3. Do not exercise to a point at which you are breathless. This sort of exercise will deprive your baby of oxygen, which is needed for healthy development.
  4. Make sure to wear exercise clothing and footwear that is supportive and comfortable.
  5. Take frequent breaks. This is not the time to see how long you can keep something up.
  6. Drink plenty of fluids. This is good advice during any exercise, but especially important in pregnancy exercis.
  7. Do not exercise in extremely hot weather.
  8. Keep away from unstable or uneven terrain when running and when riding a bike. You should also be aware that you are more prone to injury when you are pregnant.
  9. Do no play contact sports during pregnancy. This can damage the body of the fetus, and slow development.
  10. If you are weight training as part of your pregnancy exercise program, make sure that you avoid body building. Instead, concentrate on tone. Do not lift weights over your head, or do things that strain the lower back.
  11. During trimesters two and three, avoid exercises that require you to lie flat. This can deprive your baby of your nutrient rich blood flow.
  12. When you exercise during pregnancy, make sure you remember to stretch both before and after your exercise regimen.

Pregnancy exercises

If you ran or biked before your pregnancy, it is usually okay to continue these activities - as long as you allow yourself to be guided by your health care provider. There are other exercises that you can do during pregnancy that can provide physical activity. Many gyms offer special classes for pregnant women. These include hydro fit classes and yoga classes. These classes are designed to be gentle on the body, and to help you exercise in a way that still allows nutrients to flow to the fetus. However, you should still check with your health care provider before taking such classes, and make sure that the instructor is properly certified for pregnancy exercise.

Concentrating on increasing your strength and flexibility can help you avoid some of the discomforts that come with pregnancy, and they can prepare you for the actual birth of your child. Additionally, it can help you return to your pre-pregnancy body sooner. Some of the things that you can do as part of pregnancy exercise program include:

  • Stretch arms and upper back.
  • Gently work abdominal muscles.
  • Kegels.
  • Calf stretches.

You should avoid arching your back or bulging your abdomen when you exercise. You should also consider relaxation as part of your pregnancy exercise routine. After you exercise, take time to wind down, cooling down gently and relaxing. You can also include meditation in your exercise regimen to help your body absorb the exercises.

Every woman can benefit from exercise, and pregnant women are no exception. However, it is vital that you pay attention to guidelines set by your health care provider. You may not be able to exercise the way you did prior to pregnancy, and you need to be very careful to avoid exercises that can prove harmful to the baby. Your health care provider can help you develop an exercise program that will benefit both you and the life growing inside you.

Related Article: Pregnancy by Trimester >>