Staying Fit During Pregnancy
Your entire body changes when you’re pregnant. But one thing that doesn’t have to change is your commitment to staying fit.
Exercise is great for expectant mothers who are having low-risk pregnancies. Exercising can improve your energy level, elevate your mood, boost your self-esteem and create a higher sense of well-being for an easier pregnancy while reducing recovery time after your baby is born. It is recommended that moms-to-be always consult with their doctors before beginning any fitness program.
Exercising before and during pregnancy can also help your delivery go more smoothly, says Dr. John Wichert, OB/GYN. Cardiovascular training prepares your body for the extreme exertion required while pushing your baby out during labor. Aerobic exercise also increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of your blood, which helps both mom and baby throughout your entire pregnancy.
Safety Guidelines to Keep in Mind
- Avoid exercises on your back after your first trimester.
- Modify exercises that feel awkward or uncomfortable.
- Avoid exercises that use or push heavily on your abdominal muscles.
- Stop before you are exhausted.
- Stop if you experience dizziness, shortness of breath, headache, chest pains, pre-term labor, abdominal pain or other discomfort.
- Drink plenty of water.
Here are some great exercises for expectant moms
Walk the Walk: Walking is a wonderful way to alleviate some of the normal aches of pregnancy that come as your body adjusts to new alignment in response to your growing belly. If a woman is active every day, her body will gradually adapt and she will be more comfortable as changes take place, Dr. Wichert says.
Stretching: Yoga is a great low-impact method of keeping your joints flexible as they adjust to modifications of pressure and weight.
Water Aerobics: Swimming and water aerobics are excellent ways for pregnant women to stay fit. Our natural buoyancy in water supports our bodies, protecting our joints.
Stay Comfortable: Dr. Wichert remind moms-to-be to only do what feels comfortable for you. Trust and listen to your body and have a safe, healthy pregnancy.