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Staying Fit Through Pregnancy

Pregnancy seems like the perfect time for women to prop their feet up, spend hours on end just resting and sleeping. Exercise is probably going the be the last thing on your mind when you’re pregnant. But did you know that exercise is still important for women even though you’re with child?
Sure, when you’re pregnant you’ll probably feel achier than normal, you’ll feel more tired, sleepy hungry—name it! But unless you have been explicitly ordered by your doctor to limit movement, sitting around and doing nothing during your pregnancy is going to do more harm than good. How does exercise help your during pregnancy, you ask? Take these for example:

  • Exercise relieves pregnancy related aches and pains such as leg pain, and back pain
  • Exercise can boost your energy levels and keep you from feeling sluggish
  • Exercise can reduce the amount of weight you gain during pregnancy
  • Exercise can make it easier for you to lose the weight after pregnancy
  • Exercise can minimize the risk of contracting gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that affects pregnant women
  • Exercise can lower the risk of contracting pregnancy related high blood pressure
  • Exercise lowers the risk of post-partum depression
  • Exercise can make it easier for you to deliver your baby
  • Exercise prepares you for labor

Having said all of that (and many other benefits not mentioned here), there’s absolutely no reason for you not to exercise. But it is important for you to consult your exercise regimen with your doctor and strenuous exercises are best avoided because of your more delicate state than usual. Mild to moderate exercises are the recommended options, avoiding exercises that can cause you to lose balance or fall.

Here are some recommended exercises for pregnant women:

Kegel exercises—Kegel exercises strengthen the floor of the pelvic muscles. These muscles support the bowel, the bladder and the uterus. Pregnant women should perform Kegel exercises which involve contractions of the vaginal wall for 10 repetitions, 3 times a day. By strengthening the muscles around this area, you are able to develop the muscles’ ability to control itself during labor and childbirth, making the process easier.

Swimming—swimming is a low impact exercise which makes it one of the safest exercises for pregnant women. Moreover, this aerobic exercise that benefits your cardiovascular system can be performed without causing you to overheat which is important to watch out for.

Walking—walking is another low impact exercise that’s recommended for pregnant women because it is so easy to do and it can be squeezed in easily into any kind of schedule. Try to stick to walking on even ground and even terrain in order to lessen the risk of injury.

Yoga—yoga is not only great for the body, it’s also great for the mind too because of the peace and quiet that every session can bring. Ask your local yoga communities for any courses offered for pregnant women. Try not to perform any overly complicated exercises and make sure that you also avoid performing moves that may cause you to lose balance and fall. Avoid lying flat on your back while performing yoga moves for too long and make sure you have a yoga mat at all times.