Is It Safe to Exercise During Pregnancy?

Actually, it’s a perfect time to getting started on an exercise when you’re pregnant. It can help you stay in shape and help you cope with labor and delivery. The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help in returning to your pre-baby weight more quickly. During pregnancy, exercise can:

• Reduce backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling
• Boost your mood and energy levels
• Help you sleep better
• Prevent excess weight gain
• Promote muscle tone, strength and endurance

Inactivity is more of a concern than activity with moms-to-be, because this can lead to unnecessary weight gain, high blood pressure, aches, pains, and higher risk for a Cesarean section and gestational diabetes.

For most pregnant women, at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise is recommended on most days of the week. Always remember to:

• Warm up and stretch before exercising, and cool down afterwards
• Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
• Avoid overheating
• Not exercise to the point of exhaustion
• Avoid exercise if you are ill or feverish
• Listen to your body, explore what you feel right and make you feel comfortable

If you have a medical problem, such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes, exercise may not be advisable. It’s important to talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program. Pregnancy is a precious time with a variety of factors that can influence what you should or shouldn’t be doing.

Most exercises are safe to perform during pregnancy, as long as you exercise with caution and do not overdo it. The safest and most productive activities are:

• Swimming
• Brisk walking
• Cycling on a stationary bike
• Step or elliptical machines
• Low-impact aerobics (taught by a certified aerobics instructor, of course)
• Prenatal yoga (look for a certified practitioner specializing in the needs of moms)
• Resistance training

Beside physical activity, healthful eating and mindfulness are also contributing factors for a healthy pregnancy. Happy expecting and good luck!

photo: lifecdn.dailyburn.com

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