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Healthy Pregnancy: Fitness and Exercise Tips

Staying healthy and fit while you’re pregnant is a great goal to create. Studies show those women who keep their weight gain at healthy levels during their pregnancy via following proper fitness and nutrition guidelines and doctor recommendations can have much easier childbirth experiences and faster recovery in the postnatal stage as well. In fact, the benefits of staying on an exercise program while pregnant can include not needing an epidural, not needing an episiotomy and steering clear of postpartum depression. While each woman is different, these benefits are just some of the possibilities of merging exercise into a pregnancy routine.

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BPrenatal exercise is most often safe for any healthy expecting mother. However, it’s vital a woman talk with her doctor or midwife about her overall wellness and which maternity workout options she can feel safe engaging in. Obviously if a doctor feels there is a risk to the baby or a risk of preterm labor, they will most likely recommend no exercise or possibly low-impact exercises to try.

Here are a few pregnancy fitness choices to talk with your doctor about at your next visit:

Yoga

Yoga is a type of exercise program many pregnant women love because it helps them relax and prepare for labor and motherhood in a very calming way. Prenatal yoga classes are terrific ways to meet other expectant mothers and relax in the most appropriate way. If you’re not looking into prenatal yoga classes, there are a few things you need to think about before trying a traditional yoga class. First, be sure to tell the instructor you’re pregnant. After the first trimester, do no poses on your back. Don’t do any poses which stretch the abdominal areas either. Also, be sure to steer very clear of the hot yoga classes, as you could endanger your own health and the health of the baby. If your area doesn’t offer prenatal yoga, you can often find a DVD or video at your local general merchandise store to try at home.

Aerobics

Exercise can help your body increase its ability to use and create oxygen which is very important for an expectant mother and her baby. It can help increase strength, build endurance and improve circulation. A mother who exercises regularly might be able to cope better with the changes going on with her body and feel less tired from them.

With aerobic exercise, expectant mothers might need to be a little more cautious. Again, your doctor will be able to clear you for this type of exercise and you should not begin an aerobic program without consulting him or her. Even if you’ve been doing aerobics for a long time, changes in your body can make it more difficult. Your balance and gravity is shifting and ligaments are beginning to loosen to prepare for labor. Thus, there is more risk of injury. If you are cleared by your doctor, you might want to look for a pregnancy aerobics class in your area which caters to pregnant women and often comes with less risk. Remember, if at any time during your exercising you feel pain, stop immediately. If it persists, call your doctor.

Walking

One of the easiest ways to engage in safe pregnancy fitness is to walk. Many doctors say regular walking exercises during pregnancy will help promote a faster and easier labor. Walking while you’re pregnant is obviously great for your body but can also be great for your emotional state of being. Being pregnant can be difficult to handle emotional and getting out into the fresh air can help your mood incredibly. Just be sure to practice stretching before you head out for your walk, take along a bottle of water and keep your cellphone in your pocket in case you run into problems on your journey. To better prepare for labor and delivery, you can also practice your Kegels while walking.

Swimming During Pregnancy

Swimming is an exercise many people take lightly. However, those who are well informed about the sport know it uses both the arm and leg muscle groups and provides excellent cardiovascular benefits by getting your heartrate up. It’s low-impact which makes it safe for a multitude of pregnant women and also allows expectant mothers to lighten the weight burden pregnancy tends to put on the back and legs. It can literally make a pregnant woman feel weightless! With a low level of possible injury, swimming is a great pregnancy exercise to try. As your infant grows, this is an exercise you can often do with them as well. Many parents love to bring their baby into the pool with them and find swimming and water movement very enjoyable for themselves and their little one.

Continue reading the next aerobics article on aerobic fitness for men

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