Womens Health

Move That Body

Pregnancy, The Best Time To Exercise

It may seem that pregnancy is the best time to kick back and relax. You are likely feeling more tired than usual, your back hurts, and your body is giving you grief. However, sitting around and skipping exercise entirely won't benefit you. In fact, pregnancy can be the best time to get active-even if you haven't been active for a while.

Exercise has many benefits, especially for the pregnant woman. It can help boost energy levels and improve your overall health. By increasing stamina and muscle strength, you are better prepared for labor and delivery. Recovery after the birth happens much faster when you are fit.

Get Your Doctor's Okay First And Pace Yourself

It is important to have the approval of your health care provider before embarking upon an exercise regimen. If there is concern for preterm labor or certain medical conditions are present such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or placenta previa, you will need to move forward cautiously.

Pregnant women can exercise moderately on most days of the week for 30 minutes at a time. However, even if you exercise fewer times per week or for shorter periods, you will still derive benefit. Walking is an ideal exercise, especially if you haven't been active. It provides moderate cardio-vascular training with little stress on the joints. Swimming, rowing, or cycling on a stationary bike are also great ways to increase your strength and stamina while avoiding joint stress. Strength training is fine, as long as you aren't training like a bodybuilder.

Don't Stop Now That You're Pregnant

If exercise was part of your lifestyle before you became pregnant, then continuing at the same level should not be problematic. Check with your doctor first. If you haven't exercise for some time, begin slowly with only a few minutes of exercise per day and build up over time until you reach a half hour. Stretching before and after exercise is important to move the lactate from the muscles and prevent soreness. Stay well hydrated with plenty of fluids and be careful not to get overheated. Exercising to the point of exhaustion can present some problems, so take care not to overdo it.

Leave These For A While

Some exercises just are not practical during pregnancy. Underwater and high-altitude activities, such as scuba diving and high-altitude hiking, as well as higher risk activities like water and downhill skiing and skating, should be put on hold until after the baby is born. The larger you get, the more your center of gravity shifts and the more inclined you will be to fall. It just is not worth the risk.

Pay Attention To Your Body's Signals

Listen to your body as you exercise and watch for danger signs. Stop exercising if you find yourself short of breath, have blurred vision, or feel dizzy. Nausea, fatigue, or chest pain, are other indicators that you've overdone it. Stop exercising if you experience abdominal pain or bleeding. If you do not feel better shortly after you stop exercising, call your health practitioner.

Regular exercise is good for you and can help you cope with your ever-changing body. You will also develop the stamina you need for the coming days.

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