Exercises for Pregnant Women


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

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.

Yoga

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

Exercises for Pregnant WomenThere 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

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.

Pilates

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

 

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