If you love to stay in shape and have just found out that you are pregnant, do not despair! There are a number of options you can use to stay fit while you are pregnant. In fact, a regular exercise regimen might serve to relieve discomfort and even prepare you for an easier labor!
While there are many benefits of prenatal exercise, you will need to consult your doctor regarding safe exercise options. For higher risk pregnancies, exercise is limited--if not impossible in some cases. However, with the permission of your doctor, it is possible for you to maintain a safe level of activity. If you are expecting, and ready to safely institute an exercise regimen, consider these options for staying in shape.
Running and walking
Many experts agree that women can maintain close to the same level of activity that they were accustomed to prior to pregnancy. According to Kids Health, a running exercise regimen can be maintained as it was prior to pregnancy. However, running might prove to be difficult as your pregnancy progresses.
Walking, however, is encouraged throughout pregnancy. It is a low impact exercise that is easy on joints and muscles. It is an easy exercise which requires no equipment or costly gym memberships.
There are a number of aerobic options for pregnant women which can keep their muscles toned and hearts pumping, like swimming. Many women prefer swimming during their pregnancy as it provides a feeling of weightlessness. This can be beneficial as their weight gain accelerates. For some women this can be more comfortable than walking or jogging.
If you are a member of a gym, ask if aerobics classes are offered which are geared specifically towards pregnant women. If you do not have a gym membership, there are plenty of at-home videos that provide aerobic instruction for pregnant women.
Yoga and Pilates
Yoga and Pilates are another popular exercise choice among pregnant women. These are also low impact and provide a great way to keep muscles lean and toned. Additionally, they are known to improve flexibility. They also serve to improve balance and coordination. This will be very beneficial as your pregnancy progresses and your weight distribution changes.
Sticking with it
Maintaining a healthy exercise regimen throughout your pregnancy can be difficult. In order to stay consistent, learn to shake up your routine. For example, you might chose to walk once a week, and use a fun dance demonstration video at home another day of the week. You may even wish to attend an occasional dance class. Dance studios like Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Worcester can be an ideal resource. Variety in your routine will help you to maintain a steady course.
As always, listen to your body's cues. If your body cannot handle the stress of exercise, slow down. Always consult your doctor about instituting a new routine. With your doctor's approval, you can begin this important step towards a healthy pregnancy!