Many women feel that on becoming pregnant they should give up on exercising completely. The truth is that women who exercise during pregnancy are fit and their bodies are better prepared to deal with labor at the end of the nine months.
Exercising during pregnancy also helps women regain their pre-pregnancy weight faster. However, there are exercises like cycling and long distance running which should be avoided during pregnancy. Therefore, it is important that you change your exercises as the pregnancy progresses.
Exercising During Pregnancy
While exercising during pregnancy is healthy, it is also important that you exercise carefully. Leading an active lifestyle will ensure you a fit and healthy pregnancy but you must be careful on where to draw the line when it comes to exercising while being pregnant. You should not overexert yourself and end up becoming tired and sick.
Carrying a baby as it is takes toll on the body and you definitely don’t want to add anything else on to it. Many women see this as an excuse to not exercise at all during pregnancy. These women find it harder to shed baby weight post pregnancy than women who do light to moderate exercises throughout the nine months.
Before you begin any exercise routine it is important t check with your doctor whether you are physically fit to do so. Some women are advised complete bed rest during their pregnancy. Such women should not even attempt light exercises like walking as it can cause harm to fetus and the pregnancy can end up in miscarriage. Your doctor is your best guide and it is wise to seek his/her opinion when it comes to physical activity during pregnancy.
How to Remain Fit During Pregnancy
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Try and perform the same physical activities that you were doing before you became pregnant. This might include your household chores like cleaning, washing utensils, shopping for groceries and cooking. However, now that you are pregnant you should also listen to your body and not push yourself to perform tasks if you body does not permit you to do so. You will be harming yourself and your unborn child.
Join pre-natal yoga classes where you will learn about the importance of correct breathing. This will be of use to you when you go into labor. During your first trimester go for fifteen minutes walk in the morning and ten minutes walk in the evening every day without fail. Increase the duration of the walks to twenty minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes in the evening during second trimester.
With the start of the third and last trimester of your pregnancy make it a conscious effort to walk for ten to fifteen minutes after every hour. This will keep you active and make labor less stressful. Unless you have been advised complete bed rest by your doctor don’t lead an inactive life or your pregnancy will be unhealthy and there will be increased chances of acquiring gestational diabetes.
Many people will recommend that you now have to eat for two. Don’t take it literally. Pregnant women don’t have to overstuff themselves to keep the fetus healthy. Pregnancy should also not be seen as a chance of eating calorie-rich and unhealthy food. Eat foods rich in vitamins, proteins, nutrients and carbohydrates. Don’t indulge too much in your pregnancy cravings unless they are of the healthy types. Stick to a healthy diet of fresh fruits, vegetables and grains. Instead of eating three heavy meals eat six small meals through the day. This will keep your cravings under check.
Drink plenty of water. Increase your intake of water to 10-12 glasses each day. This will keep the digestive system working smoothly as many women complain of constipation during pregnancy. Drinking water will also help you avoid water retention which is one main cause of swelling of hands and feet.
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Join a gym. Talk to your trainer about your pregnancy so that he/she can design a set of exercises suitable for your condition. Do not indulge in vigorous exercising or lifting heavy weights. The idea is not to lose weight but to remain slim. You can use the cross trainer, treadmill and the cycling machine safely right till the day you deliver; but remember not to overdo any of the cardio-vascular exercises.
Crunches can be performed throughout the first trimester. However, once your belly starts expanding you will find it difficult to perform crunches. Take up other exercises that involve squatting. Squatting will help you during labor as well making your delivery smooth. Swimming is another way of remaining fit throughout the nine months of pregnancy. It is a low-impact cardio-vascular exercise and hence will not tire you out easily.
Join a class of Pilates. This new form of toning the body is an excellent way of keeping fit during pregnancy. The exercise also helps you drop weight easily post pregnancy. If there are no classes of Pilates around your locality then you can even but DVDs of Pilates and follow the instruction given in the DVD.
Join pregnancy classes and take your partner along. The classes are a great way of knowing everything about pregnancy right from pregnancy related exercises, pregnancy diet and what to expect during labor and how to prepare for delivery. Besides, the classes are also a good way of getting to meet other pregnant women and exchange notes.
It is necessary that you do not lead a physically inactive pregnancy. This can be harmful for both the mother and the unborn child. You doctor will let you know when he/she feels that you are pushing yourself too hard and that your body needs to rest.
Studies have also shown that children born to mothers who do not live healthy during pregnancy often end up becoming obese during their childhood and adult years. As a mother it is in your hands to give your child a healthy and disease-free life. Besides, remaining fit during pregnancy will help you shed off the extra pounds faster post delivery.
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