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What is the Best Way to Exercise During Pregnancy?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2016
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The best way to exercise during pregnancy is often to keep up with the exercise plan that one had before becoming pregnant, with some modifications for safety. Of course, it is important for any pregnant woman to check with her doctor first before beginning an exercise plan during pregnancy; a doctor will also be able to discuss any specific concerns that she should keep in mind. Otherwise, the best way to exercise during pregnancy is often a combination of gentle aerobic exercise, as well as exercises that focus on developing core strength.

Exercise during pregnancy is beneficial in a number of ways. It often improves energy levels throughout the day, and makes it easier to sleep at night. In addition, it can help to prevent common muscular pains during pregnancy, such as back pain or tightness in the legs. It can also help one to stay at a healthy weight, keeping in mind of course that it is natural and necessary to gain weight during pregnancy. When exercising during pregnancy, it is important to stay hydrated, keep the blood sugar up by eating a small meal ahead of time, and to stop and rest if one feels tired or dizzy at any point.

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Low-impact exercises such as walking or swimming are often some of the best ways to exercise during pregnancy. These help to get the blood moving for aerobic benefits, and are generally safe to do throughout the entire pregnancy, unless a doctor advises otherwise. Pre-natal aerobics can be beneficial as well; one may choose to take a class at a fitness center, or simply purchase an aerobics DVD that is intended for use throughout pregnancy.

Stretching is another good type of exercise during pregnancy, because it helps to increase core strength, improve balance and posture, and can even make the birthing process simpler. Pre-natal Pilates and yoga are two very popular stretching and strength classes. A combination of aerobic exercise a few days a week and a stretching or strength training exercise on the other days is a great way to stay in shape, gain flexibility, and feel better throughout pregnancy.

Exercise during pregnancy should not cause any stress to the pregnant woman or the baby. High-impact exercises such as running or jumping should be avoided. In addition, it is recommended that pregnant women should not lay flat on the back, because it can restrict blood flow to the baby, and the routine will will likely need to be scaled back in the last trimester. Use common sense when exercising during pregnancy, do not overwork the body, and visit a doctor with any concerns.

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