Guide to pregnancy fitness
Pregnancy is taxing on the body, and a walk down the hall can sometimes feel like a marathon. But doctors, nutritionists and other healthcare providers agree that exercise during pregnancy is beneficial for both the mother and the baby, helping to relieve fatigue while building strength, stamina and contentment. Learn how to have a fit pregnancy, including the best stretching and toning exercises.
About Pregnancy Fitness
Walking and swimming are great aerobic exercises to perform over the course of your pregnancy, as they will put little strain on your hips, lower back and ligaments. Moderate yet regular exercise will always bring more benefit than periodic bursts of intense activity; pain and injury can result from pushing your body too hard. If you begin to get bored with your exercise routine, change it up instead of pushing harder. For a convenient yet interesting addition to your workout, look online for a pregnancy exercise video that incorporates strengthening and aerobic techniques.
For a more comfortable delivery, incorporate some core strengthening exercises into your regular routine. Pilates for pregnancy will increase your core strength—the abdominal, back and pelvic muscles—to improve your posture and your stability. The movements and poses can generally be modified to allow for a big belly, and following an instructor in a prenatal Pilates class will be the best way to ensure safe and effective technique.
The deep breathing and stretching that comes with regular yoga practice is a great way to complement an aerobic and strengthening routine. Meditation techniques in prenatal yoga will help you relax as you stretch and strengthen, and you will surely appreciate your newfound stability when your center of balance shifts along with your growing belly. Pregnancy yoga is not only a way to keep in shape while you carry your baby, but it is also designed to help you control your breathing and your mindset, in order to relieve the pain and stress of childbirth.
Prenatal Exercise Safety
Even if you have never exercised before, you can begin a safe and effective exercise program during pregnancy. Low-intensity aerobic exercises are going to be the safest and most comfortable for pregnant women, as they will help to relieve backaches, constipation and stress while they prepare the body for childbirth. However, if you suffer from conditions such as high blood pressure or gestational diabetes, be sure to consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
Your changing body will demand that you continue to modify your exercises and pay close attention to your nutrition. Your prenatal vitamins will ensure that your body and your baby have enough nutrients, but have you been drinking enough water? Remember that your body can lose quite a bit of water through sweat, and it is a good idea to drink 4 to 8 ounces of water before, during and after your workout.