Friday, February 02, 2007
Posted by Susi
Exercising during pregnancy has so many benefits: it helps you manage the daily aches and pains of your ever changing body, it helps prepare you for the big day when you finally get to meet your baby, and it gets you ready for the rest of your life as a mom. There is also the added bonus of social time with other expectant moms if you take a prenatal exercise class. It is just wonderful to hang out with other pregnant women. The mom's group, I am thankfully a part of, started when we all met one another at a prenatal water aerobics class. It has since morphed into a babysitting co-op, which is really a god send when I want a cheap date with my husband.
Back to exercise: First things first, you should check with your mid-wife or doctor before starting an exercise program. If you have never exercised before, don't wait to start until after the baby is born - try walking. Walking is one of the best forms or exercise you can do when you are expecting. Plus it is free and easy.
In my opinion, the most important parts of your body to strengthen while you're prego are your legs and arms. Having strong legs can help you in labor and after the baby comes you will be using your arms more than ever before. For the legs I recommend practicing the yoga pose wide squat daily to strengthen the legs, stretch the low back and the pelvic floor (the more flexible this area is the less likely it is to tear in labor). For the arms, bicep curls are wonderful. You can do them: with weights or with an exercise band, standing or seated on an exercise ball, at home or the gym.
A few things to remember:
- Since your body is full of the hormone relaxin which makes your ligaments extra loose, AVOID stretching further than you normally do, you don't want to pull a muscle or over stress a joint.
- You shouldn't lie on your back for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time once you past 20 weeks.
- When doing cardio, keep your heart rate below 140 beats per minute.
- Swimming is a great form of exercise because the water make you buoyant and sometimes you just need to feel a little lighter. Plus swimming can help with swelling, especially if the water is fairly cool.
- Gentle forms of yoga are wonderful ways to prepare for labor and motherhood.
If you have any questions, send them my way: email FitSugar. I love talking about exercise and pregnancy, especially together.
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This Post was written by Susi May from FitSugar