We believe that an integral part of any comprehensive childbirth education includes appropriate pregnancy exercise. When you take a Birth Boot Camp class it will include an exercise program created just for you and this time in your life. Â
But maybe you are wondering what you can do right now (before you start your birth class) for everyday fitness during your pregnancy. Â This guest post fromÂ Jessica Socheski has five wonderful ideas that you can easily incorporate into your life. Â
Disclaimer: Be sure to consult your health care provider before beginning any exercise routine.
For many women, exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy pregnancy asÂ well as a great avenue to faster postpartum weight loss and recovery. Physical activityÂ throughout a pregnancy benefits both you and your babyâ€™s bodies greatly, unless, ofÂ course, you are having a difficult pregnancy and may be on bed rest or other physicalÂ caution. Some of the possible benefits of healthy activity include relieved back pain, betterÂ sleep, more energy, and less discomfort when inÂ labor.
Before starting an exercise regimen, it is important that pregnant women contact theirÂ health care provider to ensure their body and their babyâ€™s can handle exercise.
Here are five exercises that are both good for the new mommy and growing baby.
Swimming is a fantastic aerobic exercise that increases the bodyâ€™s ability to process andÂ utilize oxygen which is important for both the mom and baby. Swimming also targetsÂ important muscle groups, such as the arms and legs, yet is still low-impact, allowing for aÂ comfortable experience that is gentle on your body.
It provides good cardiovascular benefits while allowing expectant mothers to feelÂ weightless despite extra pregnancy pounds. Many women find they have increased backÂ pain from an expanding belly and muscle cramps, but swimming can help to relieve theseÂ symptoms by increasing circulation and gently strengthening the muscles.
2. Prenatal Yoga
When paired with a cardiovascular exercise like swimming or walking, yoga can beÂ an ideal way for moms to stay in shape during pregnancy. Yoga keeps pregnant ladiesÂ limber and toned while improving balance and circulation with little impact on yourÂ joints.
Because of the breathing and relaxation techniques attached to yoga, new moms will findÂ that yoga is beneficial as they face the physical demands of labor, birth, and motherhood.Â When in labor and in pain, the body produces adrenalin which can delay labor progress.Â Regular and steady breathing can help a woman fight the urge to tighten up when in painÂ and relax instead.
Dancing is a great exercise and fun while pregnant because it helps to keep the bodyÂ flexible and gets Â you moving. As an aerobic exercise, any style of dance can give aÂ solid cardiovascular workout. It is important to warm up beforehand by stretching out theÂ muscles. And you should always listen to your body, as with any physical activity, forÂ cues that it is being pushed too hard.
Walking is an ideal cardiovascular exercise for pregnant women because it keeps theÂ body in shape and fit without adding any additional pressure or jarring the knees andÂ ankles. And, it is a safe activity that can be continued throughout all nine months ofÂ pregnancy because of its low intensity and gentle impact on the muscles.When in the first trimester, moms should not be too concerned about changing theirÂ normal walking habits. However, in the second and third trimesters, depending upon howÂ quickly the baby has grown, moms may consider walking on flat, even surfaces such asÂ a track to avoid falling off balance.
5. Low-Impact Aerobics
Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and tones the body without putting too much strainÂ on you. There are plenty of aerobic classes at different gyms or prenatal officesÂ where women can be assured that each movement is safe for them and their baby.Â With these great exercise options, you can stay active and feeling healthy and energetic throughout yourÂ pregnancy all while preparing for a natural delivery.
Additional reading and studies concerning pregnancy exercise:
Jessica Socheski is a writer and health nut who loves researching exercise and flexibility. You can connect with her on Google+.