Exercise is great for expectant mothers who are having low-risk pregnancies. Exercising can improve your energy level, elevate your mood, boost your self-esteem and create a higher sense of well-being for an easier pregnancy while reducing recovery time after your baby is born. It is recommended that moms-to-be always consult with their doctors before beginning any fitness program.
Exercising before and during pregnancy can also help your delivery go more smoothly, says Dr. John Wichert, OB/GYN. Cardiovascular training prepares your body for the extreme exertion required while pushing your baby out during labor. Aerobic exercise also increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of your blood, which helps both mom and baby throughout your entire pregnancy.
Safety Guidelines to Keep in Mind
- Avoid exercises on your back after your first trimester.
- Modify exercises that feel awkward or uncomfortable.
- Avoid exercises that use or push heavily on your abdominal muscles.
- Stop before you are exhausted.
- Stop if you experience dizziness, shortness of breath, headache, chest pains, pre-term labor, abdominal pain or other discomfort.
- Drink plenty of water.
Here are some great exercises for expectant moms
Walk the Walk: Walking is a wonderful way to alleviate some of the normal aches of pregnancy that come as your body adjusts to new alignment in response to your growing belly. If a woman is active every day, her body will gradually adapt and she will be more comfortable as changes take place, Dr. Wichert says.
Stretching: Yoga is a great low-impact method of keeping your joints flexible as they adjust to modifications of pressure and weight.
Water Aerobics: Swimming and water aerobics are excellent ways for pregnant women to stay fit. Our natural buoyancy in water supports our bodies, protecting our joints.
Stay Comfortable: Dr. Wichert remind moms-to-be to only do what feels comfortable for you. Trust and listen to your body and have a safe, healthy pregnancy.