Safe Exercises During Pregnancy
We all know that it’s important to stay fit during pregnancy. Regular exercise benefits you and your baby during pregnancy, labor, and even afterward when it’s time to take your bundle of joy home. However, many women hesitate to start or continue an exercise regimen because they are unsure of what exercises would be comfortable and safe.
Myths about the dangers of pregnancy and exercise most likely originated from cases where pregnant women exposed themselves to physically challenging work on a regular basis. This type of exposure can lead to preterm labor, reduced fetal development, and in some rare cases, prolonged labor. With that said, it’s important to note that although exercise and physically demanding work are two separate activates, you should always discuss options with your physician before starting any new exercise regime.
During pregnancy it’s vital you steer clear of contact exercises, such as kick boxing or karate. Yoga or any other long stretching type exercises should be carefully chosen as well. If you are bending in a stretch for too long it could compromise the blood flow to your uterus. Besides, who would want to do the downward dog pose when they are six months pregnant! The best rule of thumb is to stick with ‘low’ and ‘no’ impact exercises.
Low impact exercise examples could be taking a walk, riding a bike, hiking with a partner, walking up steps, and cross country skiing. A great no-impact exercise is swimming and water aerobics. In fact studies are currently coming out that women who participated in water aerobics when pregnant reported less pain during labor than women who did not participate. Check your local YMCA, gyms, and community centers for water aerobics class schedules.
If you can’t seem to find a fitness regime that makes you comfortable, talk with your friends and family. Maybe they have found local programs that benefited them during pregnancy. It’s important to vocalize your fitness concerns, even if it’s just calling your doctor to ask what exercises are available during your specific pregnancy circumstances.
A Few Tips
Lastly, before you go out and jump start your fitness there is a few tips to keep in mind. Experts recommend half an hour of physical exercise every day to help aid a healthy pregnancy, so don’t overdo it. If you become out of breathe, stop and take a break. It’s important that your oxygen supply is constant so that the baby is never lacking an appropriate level to keep him/her healthy.
Also remember that your coordination will be a little off, especially during the last trimester of pregnancy. This means you need to wear supportive shoes and make sure there is always someone around in case of an emergency, such as falling and injuring yourself.
Just like when you’re not pregnant, exercising in extreme heat is not advisable. Keep in mind that even if it’s not hot out, you always need to stay hydrated. Bring a bottle of water with you every time you exercise. Almost every chain retailer carries eco-friendly, exercise-handy water bottles that come in all shapes, colors, and designs. You can have some fun with it and buy a pink one for a girl, and a blue one for a boy. If you really want to be adventurous, scan a recent ultra sound picture of your baby at Wal-Mart© or Walgreens© and they can apply it onto an exercise bottle for you. That way, every time you get discouraged, you can just look down at your water bottle and remember who you are exercising for.
So now you know there are plenty of exercise options during pregnancy. Forget all your previous excuses, get out there, and move your beautiful pregnant behind.