A Healthy Start for You and Your Baby
● By Hood Magazine
Photo courtesy of Amie Hansen Photography
Benefits of Exercise
Daily exercise not only boosts your mood, it also gives you energy. Getting up and moving can decrease many common discomforts you can experience while pregnant. Exercising will increase your muscle strength and endurance, which will come in handy during the delivery and will help lessen your recovery time. It can also prevent certain pregnancy-related forms of diabetes and high blood pressure from developing. Plus staying fit can reduce your risk of premature or early labor and delivery.
Recommendations for Exercise
Most women who are expecting should be able to exercise 30 minutes or more almost every day. If you are just starting an exercise program, take it slow. Start with five minutes of moderate activity every day. Add another five minutes every week until you reach 30. Always start your exercise routine with a five to 10 minute warm-up, and end with a cool down to return your heart rate to a normal speed. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise you can do while pregnant. Swimming and riding a stationary bike are also good low-impact ways to keep in shape.
Most women can safely exercise during pregnancy. Always check with your healthcare provider before you continue or start exercising during your pregnancy. If you already exercise, you can likely continue to exercise throughout your pregnancy. Avoid exercising on your back after the first three months. Make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids to avoid overheating or dehydration, and listen to your body. Don’t over do it to the point of exhaustion.
If you are having trouble breathing, develop a rapid heartbeat, or experience bleeding or contractions, stop exercising immediately. Call your healthcare provider and follow his or her instructions.
Things to Remember
Exercising is important throughout your life as it helps to build bones and muscles, gives you energy, and keeps your body and mind healthy. Many studies show that you can and should exercise during pregnancy unless you have a medical reason to avoid it. Exercise can help you feel better by relieving many common discomforts associated with pregnancy. Exercising during pregnancy also helps you get back to your pre-pregnant weight after baby is born.