Best Way to Exercise During Pregnancy

You’re probably familiar with the health benefits of exercise, for every­one. Exercise is also very important during pregnancy. However, the goal of exercise in pregnancy should not he to lose weight.

Exercise has three components: weight training, stretching, and aer­obic. The most important of these three before and during early preg­nancy is aerobic, and the primary purpose is to strengthen your heart so that at rest it does not have to beat as quickly to pump blood through your system. With aerobic exercise, your heart becomes more efficient, which has a number of benefits for a healthy pregnancy.

Exercise During Pregnancy Best Way to Exercise During Pregnancy

For one thing, regular exercise will make you feel more energetic and may make you feel emotionally better by leveling out erratic moods. For another, it will help you sleep more soundly and improve muscle tone and posture. Exercise will also benefit your pregnancy by reducing backaches and minimizing constipation and bloating. And finally, it will give you the stamina to manage the work of childbirth. Use caution when doing aerobic exercise so as not to fall.

There are specific and normal pregnancy changes in your body that will affect how exercise feels to you. The hormones of pregnancy will loosen your joints and make them more relaxed. Also, because your body’s blood volume is increasing and you’re carrying more weight, you’ll also have an increased heart rate. These changes may necessi­tate some adjustments in your form of exercise. For instance, you will be at maximum blood volume at Week 25 of pregnancy, and it’s impor­tant then not to drop your head below your heart during exercise because greater blood volume means your blood is not circulating as quickly—you may feel light-headed.

Stretching exercises throughout pregnancy are beneficial, but as with any exercise you must be careful to stretch only after warming up your muscles, and even then to stretch only to the point of feeling ten­sion and not pulling. Pregnancy will also bring an altered sense of bal­ance: You may not feel as steady on your feet at times. ManyOBproviders will tell you it’s okay to continue weight-training if you’ve been doing it all along. Keep safety techniques in mind and remember to exhale when lifting. If you hold your breath, your blood pressure goes up, and you want to avoid this during pregnancy. In short, most kinds of exercise are in fact okay during pregnancy, but try to avoid exercise that’s particularly bouncy or jarring. And after the 20th week of pregnancy you should not do exercises that require you to lie flat on your back, since this reduces blood flow to the uterus. Of course, you should also consider stopping activities that could lead to falls and injuries, such as mountain biking.

Getting Started

Ideally, you had an exercise program in place before you became preg­nant. If you didn’t exercise regularly before, you can begin now. As noted in the previous section, pregnancy will bring you all kinds of new physical sensations. If you start an exercise regimen early in the Pregnancy, you’ll be better able to sort out what is a result of exercise and what is a consequence of being pregnant.

Enrolling in an exercise for pregnancy class where the instructor Can monitor your response may be your best bet. Walking is also a fine exercise for your heart and whole body. For safety and companionship, get someone to go with you. A 20-minute walk three times a week will strengthen your heart and prepare you for the work of carrying your baby late in the pregnancy, and it will help you during labor.

Exercise During Pregnancy 1 Best Way to Exercise During Pregnancy

Other than pregnancy exercise classes and walking, swimming and yoga are considered good kinds of exercise for pregnant women. With all kinds of exercise, remember to keep well hydrated and include a warmup and cool-down period. To do these, begin with a few stretches and by walking slowly for a few minutes, and do the same at the end of exercising. If you already exercise regularly and are now pregnant, get advice from your doctor or midwife about continuing your form and amount of exercise throughout the pregnancy. Some complica­tions of pregnancy can make exercising unwise. Again, follow the directions of yourOBprovider.

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