Exercise During Pregnancy – What’s Safe and What’s Not Safe?
If you weren’t fit before you became pregnant, don’t give up! Exercise during pregnancy doesn’t have to be ultra-strenuous. Begin slowly and build gradually as you become stronger.
When doing pregnancy exercises, keep your heart rate under 140 beats per minute and avoid overheating, especially in your first three months. Start gradually. Even 5 minutes a day is a good start if you’ve been inactive. Add 5 minutes each week until you reach 30 minutes at one time.
The Very Best Exercise During Pregnancy-Swimming
Swimming is really the safest and best pregnancy exercise, as it does not have any impact on your body, as jogging or walking does. You can reach a high level of heart rate, which strengthens your cardiovascular ability and gives you a welcome buoyancy (floatability or the feeling of weightlessness).
Swimming is a safe cardiovascular exercise that will most likely not cause overheating.
If you can’t swim, join a water aerobics class. Water aerobics are great pregnancy exercises as again, the water has no impact and is very safe on your stomach.
If you don’t have access to a pool, then another good exercise during pregnancy is walking. Walking is very beneficial and is safer on your body and knees than running.
If you were a runner before you were pregnant, in many cases, you can continue running during your pregnancy, although you will have to slow down and probably have to stop in your third trimester. Avoid bouncing and wear good shoes.
If you already participate in aerobics, you will most likely be able to continue; however, you should speak to your health care provider before you begin. Avoid jumping, spinning and leaping.
Keeping your balance can sometimes be difficult, so you’ll want to be careful as you grow. Do not exercise lying flat on your back for extended periods of time, and don’t even lie on your back after 25 weeks.
If you do choose to do aerobics, just make sure to avoid becoming extremely winded or exercising to the point of exhaustion.
Pregnant women who perform Kegel exercises often find they have an easier birth. The best thing about Kegel exercises is that they can be done anywhere, and no one knows you are doing them. Just squeeze the muscles that you use to stop urinating for a few seconds and do this 10 times per day.
The best thing about biking is that the bike supports your weight, so there is less stress on your body. Using a stationary bike is great exercise because you have less of a chance of falling.
Dancing is fine as long as you do not do a lot of leaping, jumping or spinning.
Stair Climbing Machines
Stair climbing is a great way to raise your heart rate and improve cardiovascular endurance. Just hold onto the side rails so you don’t fall.
Most forms of yoga will be safe for you and your baby, as long as they are not excessively rigorous. Some yoga instructors offer special classes for pregnant women. Avoid lying flat on your back for extended periods of time and try not to over stretch.
Most health care providers advise pregnant women to avoid any exercise during pregnancy after the first trimester that requires them to lie flat on their backs.
As swimming poses no impact problems and you don’t get overheated like you do with other exercises, it is the best pregnancy exercise to do right up until your due date. I was swimming two days before I delivered!
Whatever you choose to do, do it consistently and with care. Pregnancy exercises are very important to your overall health, your cardiovascular strength and will increase your circulation, contributing to an overall healthy pregnancy.
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