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Health and Fitness News

Mommy-To-Be Exercises

Best exercises when you’re pregnant.

If you’re pregnant, you may underestimate the importance of physical activity. A growing belly, aching back, or upset stomach make for easy excuses when exercise isn’t a priority. While you may feel like putting your feet up, you’d do you and your baby favors by including regular exercise as part of your prenatal health plan.

Like when you’re not pregnant, exercise during pregnancy can help you look and feel your best. It’ll reduce fatigue, backache, and stress, all while cutting your risk for gestational diabetes.

Obstetricians and health experts have determined some exercises as the best for pregnant women. When with child, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. As with all exercise, customize your workout to match your fitness level and abilities, and always listen to your body and stop what you’re doing if you feel any discomfort. If you have a health condition or high-risk pregnancy, talk with your doctor before exercising.

Walking for Two

One of the safest and simplest exercises when you’re pregnant is walking. Your joints may already feel the pressure of carrying around a few extra pounds, so a low-impact exercise like walking is best.

Whether you go around the track, on the treadmill, or through your neighborhood, walking is easily accessible and takes no special equipment or gym membership. As your belly grows and sense of balance is affected, it’s best to walk on flat, even surfaces to avoid falls. To get the most out of your walk maintain a brisk pace or alternate between a brisk and moderate pace.

The Ease of Water

Another great exercise when you’re expecting is swimming. You may feel heavy and bloated, but get in the water and you’ll weigh a tenth of what you weigh on solid ground. Swimming is not only a good way to stay in shape and burn calories, but it’s also a low-impact exercise, meaning it’s gentle on your aching joints. Not enough reason? There’s more! Because the pressure of the water helps relieve any lower leg or foot swelling and improves circulation. Many women even find that cool water helps relieve morning sickness. Have sciatic pain down your leg? When your belly is floating, the pressure is relieved on your sciatic nerve.

Hitting the Indoor Cycle

Like swimming, cycling places little stress on your body since the bike supports your weight. An indoor stationary bicycle is your safest bet because there’s little risk for falling. As your belly grows, cycling may become more difficult, so adjust your speed and resistance accordingly.

Calming Yoga

Most types of yoga are acceptable ways to get your exercise and relieve stress while pregnant, but to play it safe, practice prenatal yoga. While doing yoga when pregnant there are several poses that should be avoided. Avoid lying on your back for extended periods of time, as doing so can limit blood flow to the uterus. In the later stages of pregnancy, avoid poses that come with the risk of falling. Don’t practice Bikram (hot) yoga, which can lead to overheating and avoid movements that overly stretch or twist your abdomen.

Boogie Down

Low-impact dance and aerobics are other safe options for expecting moms. These cardio workouts get your heart pumping and your blood flowing to keep you in shape and prepare you for what’s ahead. Avoid jumping and movements that may put you at risk for falling. If taking a class, let your instructor know you’re expecting and how far along you are.