Pregnant and Fit

Being pregnant is no excuse to put your feet up and rest for the next nine months. Keeping fit at this time is not only good for your heart but also for you baby. Besides giving one energy, regular exercise can be the solution to common pregnancy complaints like lower back pain, and it may even shorten your labor time. However, before you embark on any workout routine check with your doctor first to make sure the activities you choose are safe. Spare 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise three to four days a week. Keep in mind that you are not training for a competition but your goal is to keep up your pre-pregnancy fitness. Some of these doctor-approved activities are walking. A brisk stroll around the neighborhood is a great way to start. You’ll get a cardiovascular workout without too much impact on your knees and ankles, and you can do it almost anywhere and at any time throughout the entire nine months. Losing balance as your belly gets bigger, will require that you walk on smooth surfaces.

Remember to wear supportive sneakers (to accommodate your swelling feet in later trimesters). Swimming a personal favorite because of the sense of feeling weightless in the pool. It’s the ideal form of exercise during pregnancy with zero chance of falling on your stomach and injuring your baby. Exercising in water gives you better range of motion without putting pressure on your joints. Swimming styles such as the breaststroke is a good choice because you don’t have to rotate your torso or belly. Be careful entering the water. Diving or jumping in could cause too much abdominal impact. To avoid overheating, stay away from very warm pools, steam rooms, hot tubs, and saunas. According to those who have done prenatal yoga, they have recommended it because it keeps the joints limber and helps maintain flexibility. Some pregnant women are skeptical and associate yoga with some religion, however yoga teachers are quick to point out that it is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. It strengthens muscle system, stimulates circulation, and helps in relaxation. Lifting weights will prepare your body for all the heavy lifting you’ll be doing once your baby is here. It helps counteract the risk of injury during pregnancy by strengthening the muscles surrounding your joints. However don’t lift heavy weights that can strain your muscles and put a dangerous amount of pressure on your abdomen.

There are immense benefits of exercising during pregnancy such as faster recovery from child birth, a lower risk of gestational diabetes and hypertension. Besides having a lower risk of preterm labor and birth, the labor process is likely to be shorter. Babies of active moms may also have a healthier birth weight, a lower fat mass, improved stress tolerance and advanced neurobehavioral maturation. When one experiences vaginal bleeding or leakage of fluids, this is a sign to stop exercising. Also difficult, labored, uncomfortable breathing, heart palpitations or pain in your chest shows that this exercise is doing more harm than good. Headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness or fainting are a sign that the exercise should stop. Doctors should be consulted when these health conditions occur as well as sudden change in temperature, clammy hands, overheating, swelling or pain in your ankles and calves in the course of the exercise. Also, alert the doctor when you sense decreased fetal movement, blurred vision and pain in your abdomen.

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