Calorie and Energy Expenditure
Exercising When Pregnant
Healthy Exercise During Pregnancy
Here are some answers to questions about health and fitness for pregnant Moms. such as: Is exercise safe? What's the best type of exercise to do during the various trimesters of pregnancy? What fitness workouts should you avoid when carrying a baby?
Is Exercise Safe During Pregnancy?
If you are pregnant and in good health, you can and should try to exercise moderately for at least 30 minutes on most days. Provided you follow the basic exercise guidelines for healthy exercise in pregnancy, regular physical activity offers several health benefits.
Diabetes Prevention and Treatment
Pelvis, Muscles and Breathing
Exercise Guidelines for Pregnant Moms
(1) Get Medical Advice
Always consult your doctor before starting any ante-natal exercise program. Only your doctor can advise you what type of exercise is best for you and your baby.
(2) Starting or Reducing an Exercise Program
If you already perform a regular fitness workout, you may need to reduce the intensity and duration of your exercise routines for optimum health, after the first trimester. On the other hand, if you are unfit, or overweight when you conceive, you should start with gentle light exercises and progress slowly. In particular, you should steer clear of any fitness routine that causes pain, excessive fatigue or breathing difficulties. As your pregnancy progresses, you will need to reduce your exercise-intensity level. Don't forget, the increasing weight of your baby will automatically increase your exertion level, so be careful not to overdo things.
(3) Physical Activities to Avoid During Pregnancy
Types of exercise to steer clear of, include:
- Any activity that carries a risk of falling
After the third month of your pregnancy, avoid all exercise routines that involve you lying flat on your back. This can restrict the blood-flow to the uterus, which is dangerous for your baby. In addition, avoid long periods of standing.
In the final trimester, avoid all exercise (eg. running, jumping) that involves bouncing movements. According to some health experts, these movements cause straining of the pelvic floor.
(4) Heat Levels
Avoid over-heating when you exercise during pregnancy. If training indoors, or at the gym, check for adequate ventilation. If exercising outdoors, avoid hot periods of the day. Drinking plenty of fluids, before, during and after exercise is also important.
(5) Heart Rate While Exercising
Maintain a safe heart-rate for yourself and your baby, while exercising. Experts advise that your heart-beat rate (same as your baby's) should not exceed 140 beats per minute. Please have this confirmed by your doctor. To keep your heart-rate in the safe zone, invest in a heart rate monitor.
(6) Best Exercise Routines for Pregnant Women
The best type of exercise to perform during pregnancy is low-impact, low or non weight-bearing exercises, including:
- Pre-natal aerobics, yoga or pilates classes.
In general, the less strenuous and stressful the exercise, the better it is likely to be for pregnancy. So, workouts involving sudden jerk-like movements, or over-stretching, or intense exertion, or excessive weight-resistance, are likely to be too risky for the health of you and your baby.
Kegel exercises are especially beneficial for pregnancy health. Kegels (which involve tightening and relaxing your pelvic muscles) help to strengthen and prepare the pelvic floor for delivery. Kegel exercises also help new Moms to recover from childbirth. Do kegel routines several times a day.
(8) When to Stop Exercising
Warning! Stop exercising and get medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms during your workout:
- Blood or other fluid coming from your vagina.
Healthy Exercise During Pregnancy
Exercise is a healthy and beneficial accompaniment to most pregnancies. Talk to your doctor about your physical limitations and, for best results, follow an easily manageable exercise program and always listen to your body. If you start feeling tired or uncomfortable, it's time to stop. A healthy balanced diet, combined with appropriate vitamin/mineral supplements, is another important element in ensuring optimal health during pregnancy.
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