Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Why It Is Important to Exercise During Pregnancy

One of the best things that expecting mothers can do for herself that will also help the health of her baby is simple--exercise. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that pregnant women get at a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day five days out of the week. As an experienced pregnant woman, exercise always seemed like the last thing I wanted to do, but with the motivation of my family and friends, I made the time for physical activity and always felt better afterward.

Exercise helps prevent constipation, fatigue, insomnia, and back pain-- which are some of the most common complaints from expecting mothers. There has also been evidence to suggest that regular exercise can reduce the risk of pregnancy-related complications, such as gestational diabetes.

However, women need to be cognizant of the fact that there are some exercises that are safer than others. Be sure to speak to your doctor for pregnancy advice on exercise as well as diet, labor signs, labor medications, and cord blood banking.

Below are some exercises that doctors recommend for expecting mothers:

Walking

Walking is one of the simplest exercises there is. It is low-impact and can be done almost anywhere. You will need to make sure that you wear comfortable shoes. Additionally, you need to make sure that you avoid walking in extremely hot or cold weather.

Swimming

Swimming is an ideal exercise for a pregnant woman. Swimming is very easy on the joints, so your chances of getting injured are minimal. Overheating is a common concern for pregnant woman, but the temperature from the water will help your body maintain a normal temperature. Swimming also provides you with both a cardio and resistance workout.

Jogging

If you jogged before you got pregnant, you will most likely be able to continue this exercise throughout most of your pregnancy. Jogging helps keep your heart and lungs strong. It can also help strengthen your pelvic muscles, which will prepare your body for the demands of labor.

Cycling

Cycling is another great aerobic exercise that can keep your heart and lungs strong. This exercise should be done in the beginning of your term. As you progress in your pregnancy, your center of balance will change and bike riding can become dangerous.

Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy

Again, your chances of getting injured are greater during pregnancy, so there are exercises that you want to avoid. Below are some of those exercises:

Contact sports - Soccer, basketball, football and hockey are examples of sports that you want to avoid. You could get hit from the ball or another person, which could injure you and your baby.

Downhill skiing - Pregnancy affects your balance, which can make your susceptible to falling. That is why you want to avoid downhill skiing.

Any activity that involves excessive jumping, running and skipping- these types of activities should be avoided simply because of the risk of falling.

With many options still available for you to exercise, you can certainly find an activity to keep you and baby healthy throughout your entire term. When baby is born, you’ll find that you have more energy for motherhood and will be able to bounce back from delivery sooner!

Katie Moore has written and submitted this guest article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26

Image Citation: Ed Yourdon


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