Exercises for Pregnant Women
Excitement and nervousness are the first two emotions you
feel as an expectant mother, and it is natural that you will take immediate
steps to alter your lifestyle. Suddenly, cocktails are replaced by fortified
milk, bites of raw sushi are swapped for fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins
. . . and donít forget about those unusual cravings. What many fail to account
for is the fact that, as your body undergoes drastic changes, so will your
workout routine. Below are some safe and healthy exercise tips to keep you in
shape as your pregnant belly grows.
Breathwalking is a mixture of meditation and walking. The guiding concept
behind this activity is to take time out of your day to bond with yourself and
the life inside you. You can participate in the exercise anywhere, though most
new and expectant mothers prefer the outdoors; letís face it, walking by a body
of water is a lot more serene than clocking in at the gym. Whatís great about
this form of exercise is that you donít have to worry about whether you are
using proper form. It is all based on you, your pace, and your meditation style.
Donít be afraid to repeat a mantra or listen to guided meditation during this
activity. Overall, the goal of breathwalking is to keep yourself calm and stress
free, while simultaneously squeezing in some cardio.
With over a dozen forms of yoga, finding one for your needs
and your health level will not be difficult. If you have never participated in
this ancient practice, you will want to start off nice and easy. Meet with a
local instructor and discuss your options, and (s)he can recommend a specific
style that complements your preferences. If you are skilled in yoga, then
Kundalini yoga is a good option for pregnancy, as it blends yoga,
stretching, and cardio. No matter which type of yoga you decide is right for
you, make sure to clothes that will allow maximum flexibility and wonít
constrict any part of your body.
Motherhood carries plenty of maternity yoga and workout clothes.
Weight Lifting and Training
There are many misconceptions regarding the idea of a
pregnant woman weight training and weight lifting. The truth is, if you are
already incorporate weights as part of your regular workout routine, than you
will not need to stop. Though you may be required to alter the specific amount
youíre lifting, this is still an optimal workout plan. However, it is wise to
consult with a medical professional about what specifically to avoid and, if
youíre new to this particular kind of workout, meet with a trainer to learn the
healthy (and unhealthy) form of weight-training to avoid injury.
Jogging is a tried and true exercise for pregnancy, as it
can strengthen your cardiovascular system for delivery. If you are new to
running, starting off at a slow shuffle pace is ideal; donít worry, as you
become more acclimated, you can increase your speed and distance. Be aware that,
as you progress further into the pregnancy, the additional weight may cause more
pressure onto your heels. Iíve found wearing orthotic shoes or adding insoles
can help relieve this stress. Sites such as
Footwear Etc. carry Orthaheel, MBT, and Spenko shoes; these brands are
designed to cushion your soles, reduce the amount of pressure felt on your lower
extremities and reduce the likelihood of plantar fasciitis, a common foot
condition among both pregnant women and runners.
While yoga has already been mentioned, Pilates tends to stand on its own as
a suitable exercise for late term pregnancy, as well as for individuals who have
been advised against lifting weights. It will help to strengthen muscles without
the use of weights and will help strengthen your body for the delivery process.
The key factor to remember when you are working out while pregnant is to be
aware of your body. Donít ignore physical signals that you may be taking on too
much, and look out for the ten danger signs: Nausea, dizziness, sudden body
temperature changes, heart troubles, swelling in your leg or calf regions,
bleeding, blurring, fainting, recurring pain and unknown vaginal discharge.
These are extremely dangerous and you should stop exercising immediately.
Contact your doctor if you have any questions or if you are unsure if an
exercise plan is right for you.
Dated 12 November 2013