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How To Exercise While Pregnant

How To Exercise While Pregnant

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While you won't be able to hit the gym quite the same way you did before you were pregnant, an exercise routine can provide you with many health benefits. A few simple adjustments to your workout will ensure that you have a safe, effective fitness regimen that will help you feel better and have more energy.

Women who exercise during pregnancy often find relief from morning sickness, backache and constipation. Your mood improves, and your sleep patterns are more regulated. If you exercise during pregnancy, you may even have a shorter, easier labor and a quicker post partum recovery. Talk to your health care provider about the best fitness plan for your pregnancy. It's always best to build slowly, rather than jump into a daily exercise routine that can cause fatigue or injury.

One of the best pregnancy exercises is walking. You can begin by walking short distances, and increase speed and incline as you go. Dancing, yoga or pilates can improve cardiovascular function and tone your body without putting stress on your joints. Combine flexibility and strength exercises with cardio for a complete workout.

When you are in your second and third trimester, you will have to change the way you exercise to accommodate your growing belly. Stay away from exercises where you have to lie on your back, as this can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the baby. Many women prefer swimming as their due date approaches, because there is a feeling of weightlessness, and it doesn't strain muscles or joints.

You must avoid any type of exercise where there is jumping or bouncing, and in your third trimester stop any exercise where you could lose your balance. It's essential to listen to your body during exercise; if you start feeling dizzy or faint, discontinue whatever you are doing. Contact sports are not safe during pregnancy, along with skiing or horseback riding.

Pregnant women need to keep their temperature below 102.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 39 degrees Celsius. Overheating can cause birth defects or developmental problems in the fetus, so don't exercise on hot days. Bikram yoga, also known as hot yoga, is not safe during pregnancy as you can easily become overheated.
Don't forget about your Kegels! Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, and help control incontinence and constipation during pregnancy. To correctly do Kegels, stop the flow of urine with your muscles. This is your pelvic floor muscle, and you should tighten and hold it for a few seconds before releasing.


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