Prenatal Exercises

Why You Need to Exercise During Pregnancy

Exercise is important for overall health at all times in your life. During pregnancy, staying healthy can eliminate many of the changes that take you by surprise during this prenatal period. For instance, some women have trouble with morning sickness. Eating a proper diet and staying active can help shorten or alleviate that time in your pregnancy.

How about swollen ankles? Staying active can keep those ankles slim and trim throughout.

Another important reason to exercise during pregnancy is labor and delivery. Lamaze classes are helpful for teaching breathing techniques through contractions. When your body is in shape, it can be easier to “walk your baby down.” You will feel a little more relaxed and stronger as you push to get the baby moving down the birth canal.

Forms of Exercise That Are Beneficial

One word of advice: If you didn’t exercise before getting pregnant, take it easy. Don’t start off with a running program in your second month of pregnancy. Walking is a good all-around exercise and it is easy to do. No equipment is needed.

Grab a friend and take daily walks. It improves breathing, posture and reduces back pain and leg pain. You may even decide that you like exercise and want to continue after giving birth.

For those who are avid exercisers, don’t let pregnancy stop you from continuing. Avoid starting a new type of exercise at this time though. The stress may not be good for you or the baby. Stick to your current plan as much as you can for as long as you can.

Consult a doctor. He may advice you to stop high-impact activities after the first trimester. Non-jarring exercises will keep you healthy once your baby starts to get of size.

Some suggestions for prenatal exercises include:

* Walking
* Swimming
* Weight training (lighter weights with higher reps, being conscious of form)
* Water aerobics

Avoid exercises that involve balance or lifting above your head. As you gain baby weight, balance can become an issue. Also refrain from performing full sit-ups. Crunches can help you keep your abdominal muscles as tight as possible. Through it all, remember to stay hydrated.