Pregnancy: Keeping in Shape
Keeping yourself physically and emotionally healthy during pregnancy is monumental to aiding in the growth and development of your unborn child. Pregnant women can and should exercise in moderation unless there are health factors or risks that prevent them from participating in a fitness program.
Any fitness program should consist of intervals of no more than 30 minutes at a time, every day of the week if possible. Exercising has been proven to help pregnant women feel and look better and will also help in minimizing the amount of weight gained during pregnancy.
Keeping fit during pregnancy can help prevent or avoid problems such as gestational diabetes, a common form of diabetes that something develops during pregnancy. It will also help increase stamina, which is needed for labor and delivery and will increase your physical and emotional well-being for recovery.
Fitness programs that are appropriate for pregnant women include walking, swimming, low or no-impact aerobics, yoga and Pilates (as long as you are able to complete the required moves). You should always avoid activities that can put you at a high risk for injury. Forms of sports or exercise that may cause contact with the abdomen or are performed lying flat on your back are considered high-risk. This is extremely important after the 3rd month of pregnancy.
There are numerous benefits that exercise can provide to a pregnant woman. You will burn calories and improve the condition of your joints and muscles, which will be very helpful during the birth of your baby. The long-term effects will also continue after birth and will help you lower your risk of heart disease and many other serious illnesses.
Staying in shape will help to relieve any anxiety and stress you may feel and help to prevent the “baby blues” or postpartum depression that many new mothers experience after the birth of their child. Participating in fitness programs while pregnant provides many emotional as well as physical benefits.
Always consult with your doctor before beginning a fitness program. Once you have the go-ahead, decide on a program that fits both your preferences and schedule. Keep in mind that it is best if you do not exceed a 30-minute period of time when exercising. If you are finding it difficult to choose a program, try several different types of exercises appropriate for pregnant women. You may want to incorporate a variety of exercises into your routine to avoid boredom and discouragement.
Maintaining good health and exercising while you are pregnant is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the development and well-being of your unborn child.
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