Pregnancy Exercise

Published: February 6, 2012

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Overview

There's a common misconception that pregnancy enables women to indulge in whatever food they want, sit back, and relax. While rest and enough sleep are important, proper diet, exercise, and maintaining a level of fitness while pregnant is equally important. Finding out that you're pregnant is no reason to rest on your laurels and skip that workout. Almost all exercises are typically safe for a pregnant woman with no medical problems, but it's still important to talk to your doctor about the type of exercise you do, just to be sure.

Pregnancy isn't the time to start a new high-impact workout routine, but people who regularly workout by doing things like jogging, swimming, or lifting weights can usually continue to do those exercises in early pregnancy and well into the later stages with no problems. If you're already exercising, confirm with your doctor that it's okay to continue. If you don't already have a fitness routine, you should start one. But start it with low-impact exercises designed to help you stretch and become strong, like yoga, and pilates.

Many doctors recommend pilates and yoga as prenatal exercises because of their gentleness and muscle toning abilities. You can find workout routines designed for pregnancy, yoga for pregnant women, and even yoga for prenatal exercise to help make birth easier. Many yoga poses are ideal for strengthening the abdominal wall and the pelvic floor, which will help you when you're giving birth. Many yoga positions are also naturally relaxing. Find yoga classes designed just for women who are pregnant, a yoga DVD, or a yoga video to get started. You might enjoy prenatal yoga so much that you continue after you give birth. Pilates during pregnancy is a great way to get a little more active with your fitness routine without going overboard.

Prenatal pilates can also help to strengthen the muscles that support the baby and help you during birth. The postures for pregnancy might be slightly altered from the regular postures, especially as you enter your third trimester. However, if you find exercise classes designed for safe pregnancy fitness and maintain good communication with your doctor, your pregnancy exercises can make a huge difference in your muscle tone and ability to get back into shape post pregnancy.

Exercise videos for pregnancy fitness are great to allow you to workout at home and the classes are good for making friends and feeling like you're part of a group. However, a pilates video will get you on the road to a healthier body. Abdominal exercises are important during pregnancy, so video workouts can allow you to do those without feeling self-conscious.

Treat yourself to at least one prenatal massage. Be sure before you schedule the massage that pregnant patrons are welcome. A pregnancy massage can be a safe, special treat for you.

Resources

The following are a few websites to help you find more information about pregnancy exercises:

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