Preganancy Health and Yoga tips
Types of safe pregnancy exercise
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends at least 30 minutes worth of exercise a day for most days of the week. The idea is to
get the heart pumping, keep the muscles loose, and manage weight gain.
To improve your cardiovascular health, consider walking, swimming, low-impact aerobics or dancing. Walking can be done safely for all nine months, and
costs nothing besides a pair of walking shoes. Many gyms offer aerobics classes for pregnant women, so you can find a class full of women who can relate.
Dancing can be done in a class or through a DVD, but keep away from dance styles that require overexertion. Avoid anything requiring bouncing or jarring
For flexibility and strength, yoga, stretching and weight training are great, when done safely. Yoga keeps muscle tone and flexibility, as does stretching.
Weight lifting is a bit trickier, and you may need to keep the weights at a low number. Use good technique and take the necessary precautions. Added to a
cardiovascular workout, these activities can help keep your muscles toned and strengthened.
If you played sports before pregnancy, it’s a good idea to avoid them. Any sport that risks sudden falls or contact can be dangerous for the baby, so
consider that when choosing an exercise regimen.
Tips for exercise
KidsHealth recommends coming up with a good exercise plan with your healthcare provider. Some medical conditions prohibit exercise during pregnancy, like
preeclampsia or placenta previa. You and your healthcare provider can find the right balance of diet and exercise to ensure your safety, as well as the
Even if you didn’t exercise before you became pregnant, it’s never too late to start. The risks of exercise during pregnancy are very low, but you also
don’t want to overdo it. A good rule of thumb is that if you are exercising and are too winded to keep up a conversation, then you are pushing too hard.
Don’t exercise outdoors when it’s too humid or hot. You don’t want the baby to become overheated.
Stay hydrated while working out. Drinking fluids is important when you’re pregnant, and especially so when you’re working out. Try dividing your weight in
half and drink that much in fluid ounces each day. During the workout, consume fluids an hour before the workout and continue hydrating every 15 minutes.
Warming up and cooling down are important aspects of a pregnancy workout. Six to 15 minutes of a warm-up helps the muscles function optimally, reducing the
chance of injury. Warm-ups also help the blood vessels dilate and contract, allowing you to work out longer without getting winded. Cool-downs gradually
decrease the heart rate in a healthy way, and are a necessary part of a workout.
Most importantly, listen to your body. It will tell you when you need to stop. As the baby grows, your center of gravity may change, increasing the chance
of you losing your balance. This is especially common in the third trimester, so make sure you are aware and alter your exercise regimen accordingly.
If you feel fatigue, dizziness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, back or pelvic pain, it’s time to stop. If the symptoms are extreme, or if you
experience vaginal bleeding, chest pain, calf pain or swelling or contractions, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends
contacting your health care provider.