How to Exercise During Pregnancy
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Being pregnant doesn't necessarily mean getting fat. And it doesn't have to mean being tired all the time. The way you feel (terrific or fatigued) and the way you look during pregnancy and as a new mother (sleek or bulgy) depend to a great extent on actions you take during pregnancy regarding diet and exercise. By eating a wide variety of wholesome foods and by exercising on a regular basis, you can maintain or improve your fitness and health during this time of extra demands on your body.
Decide how you want to look and feel after delivery. Then accept the challenge of making necessary changes in eating and exercise to achieve that goal. Sensible eating and regular exercise go hand in hand. Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you're fragile.
Look at your schedule and try to give your exercise time top priority. Consider planning your day around your exercise program, not the other way round.
This article describes a safe and effective exercise program for pregnant women at any level of fitness. The emphasis is on aerobic exercise, (although non-aerobic exercise can be beneficial, too, if done regularly) with some discussion of the other important components of a complete fitness program-stretching and strengthening exercises.
Before starting on any exercise program, however, you should consult with your doctor and make sure that the exercise programs are right for you.
In the following sections, you will find all of the tools that you need to get started on a program that will keep you looking and feeling great through your pregnancy, including:
- Starting a Prenatal Exercise Program
During pregnancy, your body undergoes significant changes. Before beginning an exercise program, it is important to understand how to modify an existing exercise routine or start a new one safely. These simple guidelines will get you started on the right track to working out in the healthiest way possible.
- Prenatal Exercise Safety
While exercise is important during pregnancy, there are many safety concerns that you will have to keep in mind. It is important to pay close attention to what you eat, what you wear, and the exercises you do. Read these guidelines and consult with your doctor to make sure you are exercising safely.
- Aerobic Exercises During Pregnancy
Building up and maintaining cardiovascular endurance is essential for the pregnant woman. She must, however, avoid unnecessary strain. Follow these guidelines for a safe, effective aerobic workout for pregnant women.
- Strength-Training Exercise During Pregnancy
Developing muscle tone is important not only for looking and feeling good, but also for easing the strain of labor and delivery. These exercises build muscles that will help you through the birth process.
- Choosing a Pregnancy Exercise Class
As a pregnant woman, you need to evaluate exercise classes in a different way. It is vital that you have a well-trained instructor. Here is a set of guidelines that will help you find the best class for you.