Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Exercise & Pregnancy

I’m sure you’ve heard how important exercise is for pregnancy, so I’m not going to focus on that. I am, however, going to share my top 3 favorite forms of exercise I did during my pregnancy. As with any type of sport, make sure you clear it with your doctor or midwife for safety reasons.

1.       Swimming. First of all I love being in the water so naturally swimming became my number one go to sport. Benefits: The water keeps you from overheating, majority of your muscles are being exercised (more bang for your buck), it’s gentle on your joints, and when you’re in the last trimester the water buoyancy gives your body a break from carrying the extra weight. Cons: You need a good prego swimsuit, or if you are like me, just wear a two piece and show off your beautiful baby bump, and you get to smell like chlorine for the rest of the day unless you find a saline pool in your area.
2.       Yoga. I didn’t do enough of this during my pregnancy and I paid for it with a prolong labor. Benefits: prenatal yoga helps strengthen the essential muscle groups you’ll need for labor and delivery, gives you flexibility, reduces stress, and very calming to mind, body, and spirit. Cons:  Well, I can’t really think of any. Here’s a fabulous 30 minute video I found online and practiced during my pregnancy, although not enough. Make sure you drink plenty of water and you have a fan on to keep you cool. 

3.       Walking. This is the easiest go to form of exercise out there and best of all it’s free. Good walking shoes are a must during pregnancy because of the extra weight and the change of center of gravity for the body. 15-30 minute walk a day is sufficient. For more of a workout add some stairs or hills to your walk, but make sure you don’t overheat yourself. The best way to know you’re pushing too hard is your breath. If you can’t carry on a conversation because you’re out of breath that means you’re overdoing it. Benefits: as I said it’s free, you strengthen your legs which you need during labor, and it’s a chance to get out into nature which has a nice calming effect. Cons: towards the end of pregnancy it can become difficult to walk as the baby positions his/her head down into your pelvis (speaking from personal experience here). 

The important thing to remember is to just move your body and stay active. Happy Pregnancy, mama.

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