Most women can and should exercise when pregnant. Unless your pregnancy is high risk or your doctor has ordered you to stay in bed, there is no reason in fact you can’t exercise while pregnant.
Studies show that there are numerous benefits to exercising while pregnant. You can improve your energy levels, get your blood pumping to your legs and improve your circulation, and improve your chances for a speedy recovery.
Another reason to exercise? Moms who worked out while pregnant generally had shorter and easier labors.
So what kinds of exercises are good to do when pregnant?
Well let’s start with those you should avoid. You should avoid embarking on any stringent exercise program you are unfamiliar with. Avoid running and other jarring activities unless you are a very experienced runner. Even then you should consult with your physician.
Here are some generally good and safe exercises that are recommended during pregnancy:
Walking – This is the best overall exercise for pregnant mothers anywhere. It is low impact but still gets your heart rate up and your blood pumping. Walking is usually safe throughout the entire pregnancy.
Jogging – Jogging can be done safely if you are an experienced jogger. You should reduce your jogging regimen however the further along you are in your pregnancy. If you are not able to have a conversation when jogging, then you are working out too hard.
Swimming – This is the number one exercise and the safest exercise when it comes to pregnancy. Swimming alleviates the heaviness you feel from weight gain associated with pregnancy. It also provides you with optimal cardiovascular benefits and helps you feel light and refreshed.
Yoga – Yoga can help you maintain your muscle tone and stretch out tight ligaments during pregnancy. Be sure you investigate a pre-natal yoga class if at all possible.
Weight Training – Weight training is a great way to maintain and build muscle during your pregnancy. Just keep in mind you should avoid heavy weights and weight bearing exercises that require you to lie on your back.
To be safe you should always consult with your doctor or physician before beginning any exercise program. Most pregnant women are fine to work out particularly if they’ve been active before.
If you are just starting a program be sure to take it easy initially. You should also commit to exercising regularly. Generally 30 minutes of exercise 4-7 days per week is recommended.
One last point… be sure to keep hydrated and avoid over-heating which can be dangerous for you and your baby. Avoid getting your heart rate much over 140 and stop any exercise if you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded.
Also don’t forget the importance of warming up before any and all activity. You’ll reduce the likelihood of injury. Warm up after activities will also help your heart rate return to normal.
Good luck and have fun!