Early pregnancy is an excellent time to start a regular exercise program that fits in with your changing body and energy levels. Movement is good for your health and for your baby’s health, of course. Exercise is known to facilitate digestion, improve your mental outlook, and help individuals avoid depression.
Exercise can also help you to get to know your body. Merely taking time out for yourself to exercise can enhance your self-worth. Focusing on yourself through movement will help you to understand the language of your body. You might discover areas that are tense and need release. Increasing your awareness of your body will prepare you to listen to your body during labor.
It is important to consult your healthcare provider before beginning an exercise ,program. For the most part, though, you will find you can do whatever feels right. Recent studies indicate not only that exercise is safe during pregnancy but that regular and vigorous exercise helps to increase overall birth weight of the baby and reduce back problems.
In order to benefit from this, and other good effects of exercise, a woman must expend at least 1,000 calories per week exercising. This usually means about three hours of aerobics of some kind, or four to five hours of brisk walking each week.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that you do not exercise so hard that you are unable to have a conversation while working out. This is because too great an increase in your heart rate will heat your core up too much, which is not safe for the fetus.
Generally speaking, activities that could result in a fall are also best avoided. As your pregnancy progresses, you will discover that certain positions are not as comfortable as they once were or that you that you will need to limit certain kinds of stretches.
If you’ve already been running, lifting weights, or doing other very intense exercise, you will likely be able to continue these in a modified form (speak to your health care provider about what that might mean for you).
Pregnancy is probably not the best time to begin jogging, if you haven’t been doing it before, but it is a fine time to start doing yoga, tai chi, or walking, just to name a few of the many options.
Yoga and Pilates are particularly good for expectant women because they teach you to focus on one part of the body at a time, and relax other parts. This training will come in handy during labor. You can look for a class geared just for pregnant women or find a gentle hatha yoga class. There are some poses that pregnant women should avoid, so be sure to check with the instructor.
Expressing deep emotion through dance may be perfect for you during your pregnancy. Try Nia, African, jazz, ballet, ballroom, or another type.
Videos are another great way to receive instruction without actually leaving home. But don’t forget that there is an important social component to taking exercise classes¾especially ones that are geared toward pregnancy. They are a great way to meet other pregnant women and pick up valuable tips on pregnancy and parenting.