Congratulations on your pregnancy! You are smack dab in the middle of one of the most wonderful and rewarding times of your life. Now you want to do everything you can to have fit pregnancy and a healthy baby (and look great doing it). So what is the secret to a fit and fantastic pregnancy? Antenatal exercises!
What exactly is antenatal exercise? It is simple really. Any exercise you engage in during pregnancy is antenatal exercise. Many expecting mothers question if it is sound practice to engage in an exercise program during pregnancy. It most certainly is not only safe but recommended by such leading research bodies as the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG).
Being physically fit and in good shape can help you to face the rigors of pregnancy and delivery. Engaging in physical exercise when pregnant has many benefits for both mother and baby. Studies have shown that babies born to mothers who were active during pregnancy suffer a much lower rate of obesity. Exercising while pregnant also keeps your weight within recommended limits and helps to prevent gestational diabetes. It also helps you to get back into shape much more easily after your baby is born.
So now that we’ve established that exercising during pregnancy is good for you and explained the benefits, let’s take a look at some exercise options and guidelines for expecting women.
First of all, if you have not engaged in an exercise routine prior to becoming pregnant you will want to check with your doctor before beginning antenatal exercises, just to be on the safe side. Most women can start a non-strenuous exercise program without any problem, but it never hurt to check with the doctor first.
If you have been actively exercising before you became pregnant you can feel free to continue your exercise routine through the first trimester of your pregnancy. If your routine consists of strenuous exercise you will want to start taking it easy as you progress into your second or third trimester.
If you are just starting out, some great antenatal exercises for you would include a mix of cardiovascular exercise, muscle toning work, stretching exercises, and exercises that will help to strengthen the pelvic floor. Kegels are a great exercise that can help you strengthen your pelvic muscles to assist in delivery.
Your exercise routine should only last about thirty minutes. Make sure you keep yourself well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. You may want to try to do your routine in the morning to prevent causing extra difficulty to what may be your already shaky sleeping situation. As your pregnancy progresses, your center of gravity will be thrown off a little by your growing tummy. Be sure you do not engage in any antenatal exercises that require a good sense of balance (like biking or skiing) as you get into your third trimester.
This article was meant to serve as an introduction to antenatal exercises and the benefits of exercise during pregnancy. Make sure you keep your baby and yourself safe by following a pregnancy fitness program designed by experts to help expecting women gain all the benefits of exercise during pregnancy.
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