Ready, Set, Get Fit

I Feel Like the Goodyear Blimp!

Let's see. You're tired. You've gained weight and you feel like a beached whale. You aren't happy with yourself and you might not feel your best. Some of these feelings and conditions come with pregnancy, but the good news is that exercise can address all of them. By becoming active and doing some form of exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week - all of them if you can manage it - will benefit you and your baby. Regular exercise helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling. Regular exercise can also help prevent or treat gestational diabetes. It increases your energy, improves your mood and straightens up your posture. When you exercise regularly and include weight bearing exercise in your program, you improve muscle strength and tone as well as increase endurance. And, the best part, you sleep a whole lot better. Now, that's not bad at all.

It's a well established fact that exercising during pregnancy can help prepare you for labor and childbirth and exercising after pregnancy can help you get back into shape. But that's not all. Regular exercise helps to build bones and muscles, increases energy and keeps you healthy.

Your Body, It Is A-Changin'

Pregnancy does some interesting things to your body and there will be many changes. Some of the changes that take place can affect your ability to exercise, so it is important to listen to what your body is saying and avoid those things that would be harmful. You may know that your joints become relaxed due to the production of pregnancy hormones which cause the ligaments to slacken, allowing for mobility to accommodate the baby during pregnancy and delivery. Consequently, there is greater risk of injury to joints during this time. High impact exercise should be left out of the fitness equation.

A Little Out of Balance

The extra weight you will be carrying not only affects your balance, as your center of gravity changes, but it also has an effect upon your heart rate. Exercise increases the flow of oxygen and blood to your muscles and away from other parts of the body so it is important not to over exert yourself. All things in moderation is a good slogan to remember. Don't wear yourself out.

Check It Out Before You Hit the Gym

Before you hit the fitness center, check in with your doctor to make sure you don't have any obstetric or health concerns which would require you to limit your activity. If you really enjoy a specific sport, ask your doctor about it. Your doctor can also advise you on the best type of exercise routine for you. If any of these conditions are present, then the doctor will probably advise that you don't exercise: preterm labor risks; vaginal bleeding; premature rupture of the membranes. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor will advise when and if exercise is prudent for you.

There Is A Lot To Choose From

Most types of exercise are very safe during pregnancy and many fitness centers offer classes specifically for pregnant women. If you haven't been exercising at all, then walking is the best one for anybody to start with. Swimming is also a great form of exercise and reduces joint stress while providing a cool environment which also reduces swelling. Cycling is a great aerobic exercise as are aerobics - just be sure they're low-impact or water fitness classes.



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