Exercising Right During Pregnancy

Exercising during pregnancy has a host of benefits that far out weigh the risks. It helps you feel better by increasing your sense of control and boosting your energy level. A regular workout can also

  • Relieve backache – by strengthening muscles
  • Improve your posture
  • Reduce constipation – by accelerating bowel movement
  • Prevent wear and tear in your joints
  • Relieve stress and anxiety and helps you sleep better
  • Help prepare your body for labour
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    Get Started

    If you exercised regularly before becoming pregnant, continue your program with modifications, according to your condition. If you weren’t exercising prior to pregnancy, don’t give up! Begin slowly and build gradually as you become stronger.

    Always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Once you’re ready to get going:

  • Start gradually. Even 5 minutes a day is a good start if you’ve been inactive. Add 5 minutes each week until you reach 30 minutes.
  • Dress comfortably in loose-fitting clothes and wear a supportive bra to protect your breasts
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid overheating and dehydration
  • Skip your exercises if you’re sick
  • Opt for a walk in an air-conditioned mall on hot, humid days
  • Above all, listen to your body
  • Exercise Caution

    Whatever type of exercise you and your doctor decide on, the key is to listen to your body’s warnings. Many women, for example, become dizzy early in their pregnancy, and as the baby grows, their center of gravity changes. So it may be easy for you to lose your balance, especially in the last trimester.

    Your body is signaling that it’s had enough if you feel:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations (your heart pounding in your chest)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in your back or pelvis
  • And if you can’t talk while you’re exercising, you’re doing it too strenuously.

    Warning Signals

    During pregnancy, your energy level may also vary greatly from day to day. And as your baby grows and pushes up on your lungs, you’ll notice a decreased ability to breathe in more air (and the oxygen it contains) when you exercise. If your body says, “Stop!” – stop!

    It also isn’t good for your baby if you become overheated because temperatures greater than 102.6° Fahrenheit (39° Celsius) could cause problems with the developing fetus – especially in the first trimester – which can potentially lead to birth defects. So don’t overdo exercise on hot days.

    Exercises To Avoid

    Most doctors recommend that after the first trimester, pregnant women should avoid exercises that require them to lie flat on their backs.

    Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, it’s also wise to avoid any activities that include:

  • Bouncing
  • Jumping (anything that would cause a lot of up and down movement)
  • Leaping
  • A sudden change of direction
  • A risk of abdominal injury
  • Contact sports, downhill skiing, scuba diving, and horseback riding should be avoided, because of the risk of injury they pose.

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