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Fitness recommendations for all stages of pregnancy


Like proper nutrition, fitness is a crucial part of your pregnancy. Too many women are suffering from unfortunate conditions such as gestational diabetes due to a lack of fitness knowledge before and during their pregnancies. These conditions result in unhealthy mothers and babies as well as difficult labor and post partum periods. Whether you are planning to conceive or have just discovered you are pregnant, making fitness a priority will ensure an easier pregnancy and recovery from childbirth. Taking the time to educate yourself and incorporating your knowledge into your daily life will help you to have a positive experience and enjoy the process of becoming a mother much more.

There is no evidence that a moderate exercise program will hinder conception. Therefore, women need to take advantage of this period of time to prepare their bodies for the rigors of pregnancy and labor. In fact, some trainers recommend up to a year of resistance and flexibility training in order to properly prepare the body. If you're not in the position to afford a personal trainer, you can easily create your own conception boot camp. Resistance training and cardio are essential in order to boost your endurance and create muscle mass. You need to ensure that your muscles are strong enough to withstand the months of carrying extra pregnancy weight and then years of lifting your baby up and down. Combining moderate cardio workouts such as jogging, cycling or swimming with free weights will give you visible results in four to six weeks. Pilates and Yoga help to create strong abdominal muscles which will help to prevent any separation of the muscles that might occur with your expanding belly. These exercise programs will also help you to regain your pre pregnancy shape faster and have the added benefit of relaxing the mind at a time that can be quite stressful. Make a trip to your local gym or community center and see what they have to offer. If you are uncomfortable joining a gym, remember that many of these exercises can be performed in the privacy of your living room with the addition of some free weights or an exercise DVD.

When you conceive and your body is beginning its epic task, you should begin to modify your exercise routine. If you have been working out at a high intensity for six months or more before conceiving, you should be able to continue until the middle of your second trimester. You must be careful, however to keep your body temperature below 100.4 and stay well hydrated. This is particularly important in the first six weeks when the fetus runs the risk of developmental complications. A good way to ensure this is avoided is by staying at the low end of your normal level of exertion. Remember that the marathon you are training for now is parenthood and it requires more stamina than speed.

When you reach the middle of your second trimester, you may find that your growing belly is starting to get in the way of your usual exercise routine. Now is a good time to switch to more low impact disciplines such as swimming, walking or yoga. These exercises can be continued up until you give birth and many women find them to be very comforting as your pregnancy becomes more encompassing. Unless your obstetrician or doctor says differently, there is no reason to stop exercising in pregnancy. The benefits of maintaining your fitness far outweigh the risk and you may find that it helps you cope with the many changes your body experiences.

If your pregnancy and delivery were normal, you should be able to begin exercising again within days of giving birth. Many women find this comforting as the need to regain the body and sense of self can be huge during post partum days. A slow walk around the neighborhood can be highly beneficial after hours of breastfeeding and the emotional roller coaster many women experience after birth. Doctors recommend waiting at least six to eight weeks to begin any moderate to rigorous exercise routines. The body's ligaments and joints are very loose until this time and they need the time to settle back in and solidify. This is particularly true if your birth was caesarean. You must be sure you have your doctor's permission in order to avoid any unnecessary complications. Essentially, you must not rush yourself. Allow yourself to enjoy this baby moon and allow your body to rest after such a magnificent feat.

The importance of exercise is not limited to before, during and after pregnancy. With the amount of children now suffering from obesity, it's important to transfer your healthy habits over to your children. By beginning an exercise program and making it a part of your life permanently, you are setting a standard for behavior that your child will benefit from in the future.

 


 
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