Safe Exercises During Pregnancy
When it comes to the health of a baby, a mother’s concern begins before her child even enters the world. It is for this reason that expectant moms show up for regular doctor visits, call in about anything abnormal, adopt a healthier diet (despite cravings for junk food), and start taking prenatal vitamins as soon as they see a pink stripe. But if you aren’t also seeking ways to remain active throughout your pregnancy then you could be doing yourself and your unborn child a real disservice. Although it is recommended that pregnant women avoid strenuous activity and high-impact exercise during gestation, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep moving. And suitable exercise will not only help you to maintain a healthy weight, it will also ease the uncomfortable side effects of carrying an extra 20-30 pounds. Here are a few routines to consider.
- Swimming. As you get heavier, gravity will begin to take its toll, putting pressure on your back, your pelvis, your internal organs, and your lower extremities. So why not embrace relative weightlessness for a while and ease your aching body by spending a little time in a nice, cool pool? The resistance of swimming will help you get in some cardio and toning while the buoyant environment will reduce the stresses on your body. In truth, it is one of the best ways for pregnant women (or really anyone) to stay fit and healthy.
- Walking. This might sound kind of boring if you are used to the adrenaline rush of triathlons or team sports, but it is actually an excellent way to get in your workout while enjoying the great outdoors and taking a little time to relax. Pregnancy can be stressful, so finding a way to take the edge off and help you sleep at night should not be dismissed, even if it is not up to your normal standards of activity.
- Low-impact aerobics. If you can’t stand walking or you want something that actually produces a sweat, try out pregnancy aerobics. They are designed to get your blood pumping without the bouncing that normally accompanies aerobic exercise routines.
- Yoga. There are many benefits to practicing yoga while pregnant. Routines or classes specifically aimed at pregnant women will account for even advanced stages of development and compensate with movements that are feasible for your physique. The routines often incorporate cardiovascular development as well as moves meant to decrease pain and stiffness and increase circulation, strength, and flexibility. They’re also quite relaxing. In short, yoga is a great all-around workout for any expectant mother.
- Dancing. In utero communication studies have shown that babies in the womb can not only hear, but also recognize sounds (like your voice) after birth. So why not do double duty with your workouts by waltzing across the floor to some classical music or singing and dancing to your favorite rock anthems? There’s no need to go nuts; as long as you’re moving enough to raise your heart rate (and avoiding bouncing around) you can introduce your child to some of your favorite music and get in your exercise at the same time.