Should you Continue Exercising if You're Pregnant?
Posted Oct 27 2011 12:44pm
Medical experts have encouraged pregnant women to consume a healthy diet and establish a workout regime during pregnancy for years in order to ward off excessive weight gain—too much "baby weight" can cause several problems, including gestational diabetes, a condition where the baby grows an abnormally-sized head and, in addition to the increased risk of a needed emergency caesarian birth, makes the infant vulnerable to developing diabetes and obesity. Not to mention excessive baby weight also makes it harder for the mother to get back to post pregnancy size.
While new studies are trying to argue that exercise may not actually prevent excessive pregnancy weight gain after all, what is conclusive however is that exercise does in fact help improve the overall health of an unborn child—it helps him or her build endurance and strengthen muscles while in the womb. Thus, doing some mild form of exercising throughout your pregnancy is highly recommended. It's even better if you start prepping your body early if you are in the midst of trying to get pregnant. That said, below are some key exercises you can do while pregnant or even before. Note that it may be best to consult your obstetrician before engaging in your new workout plan.
Walking. It's simple but yet also highly effective. The best part? You don't need a pricey gym membership to reap the health benefits. All you have to do is take a 10 to 15 minute stroll every other day in your neighborhood or a local park to help decrease cholesterol levels, blood pressure, give your mood a boost, and build bone density. What makes walking ideal is the fact that it also helps strengthen your leg muscles, which helps reduce tension on your joints—something you'll appreciate once the added baby pounds come.
Swimming. Swimming, no matter if it's done in an indoor or outside pool, is the perfect form of exercise because water is resistant to air. This means that you are able to burn the proper amount of calories and build muscle without putting too much effort into it—and most importantly without putting too much strain on your pregnant belly. If you want, do a little research and see if your gym offers any water aerobics classes geared for pregnant women to get more out of your workout. Sometimes the classes geared for the elderly are suitable as well.
Low-Impact Weight Training. If your workout routine already included weight training, then by all means continue with your exercise-of-choice. But you should probably alter a few things and reduce the amount of weight you lift—just increase the repetitions if you want to maintain your normal routine to keep your muscles defined. If low impact weight-training isn't your thing but you'd like to start, get a trainer to help you at first—they'll be able to give you advice on what moves is more suitable for you.
Yoga. Lastly, while yoga isn't really designed to get your heart rate going, it is an excellent way to increase flexibility and improve muscle tone—not to mention it can also serve as a great mood and stress reliever, something that hormones seem to throw out of whack in most pregnant women.
This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for best online colleges . She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99 @gmail.com.