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Prenatal Fitness

Prenatal Fitness

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How you exercise during pregnancy can have a big impact on your body. It's important to exercise regularly throughout your pregnancy, but you must take care not to put strain on your body, or do anything that could cause injury to you or your baby.

What are the benefits of prenatal fitness?
If you exercise during pregnancy, you may find that you have increased energy, and feel less fatigued at the end of the day. Exercise can help regulate your mood and your sleep patterns, and can reduce stress. Exercise can relieve pregnancy symptoms like backache, morning sickness and constipation, while improving your posture.

How should I exercise during pregnancy?
First, talk to your doctor about prenatal fitness. If you have a medical condition or high risk pregnancy, your health care provider can recommend a safe form of exercise for each trimester. You should exercise three to four times per week, but no more than five times each week as your body won't have a chance to rest and recover.
Avoid exercises that involve bouncing or jumping, or activities where you could fall such as horseback riding or skiing. Tilt your pelvis forward when you exercise, and keep your back straight. After your second trimester, you can't do any exercises where you lie on your back, as this restricts blood flow to your baby.
It is unsafe for pregnant women to do any form of exercise that can lead to overheating. This includes hot yoga, high intensity workouts, or any other activity that causes excessive perspiration. Overheating can cause birth defects or miscarriage, so make sure that you are getting plenty of water during your workout, and stop if you start to feel too hot.

How do I get started?
Begin your exercise routine slowly, and work up to a manageable level. Never push your body, and remember that your energy levels will vary throughout your pregnancy. You should wear a maternity bra when exercising to support your breasts, and wear loose fitting clothing that allows you to move around comfortably.
Stretch your muscles both before and after your workout, and make sure you have a five minute cool down period before you stop. Daily, it is safe to do Kegels exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and strengthening. These exercises will keep you flexible during your pregnancy, and will allow you to do your workouts with increased flexibility and energy.

 


 
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