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Exercise During Pregnancy– Is it Ok?

Tired of back aches? Worried about becoming unhealthy during pregnancy? Nervous about the delivery? Exercise during pregnancy can actually help in all of these areas. There are many myths circulating that it is unsafe to work out when pregnant, but, unless you have specific complications, this is false.

Of course it is important to be careful about exercise when you are pregnant. Every woman should consult with her doctor to make sure her exercise program is safe and right for her circumstances. Often we take the extremes in working out. Some want to push themselves to the edge of their limits, as they may have done before pregnancy. Others are afraid of doing any kind of exercise at all. Overworking your body is by far worse, but with a moderate plan of exercise you can maintain good health during pregnancy. Using a low impact workout will help you maintain your fitness without jeopardizing your joints or your developing baby.

Some of the benefits of low impact exercise during pregnancy are to you prepare your body for delivery, and to recover more quickly after delivery. In working out, you can enhance your endurance levels and build up the muscles you will be using in delivery. Keeping fit will cause you to gain less overall fat and allow you to shed the extra weight of pregnancy more quickly. The goal of exercising while pregnant is not to lose weight but to sustain your health and fitness.

Other benefits are looking and feeling better! During pregnancy, stress accumulates from the day to day worries and the changes occurring in the body. Exercise is a natural stress reliever. It is a way to drive out your frustrations. Your body releases endorphins when you work out which act as a natural opiate to dull pain and just make you generally feel better. It also stimulates the brain. Physical exercise gives your immune system the boost it needs to be able to fight against colds and other illnesses. Despite the changes in your body, with proper exercise you may even find a better quality of sleep at night.

So what kinds of exercise are good in pregnancy? One of the best is walking. A brisk walk is recommended, though you can take your walk at your own pace according to how your body is feeling. Don’t forget about warm up and cool down periods. It is best to start your walk at a leisurely pace for the first few minutes and then take it up to a more vigorous level, remembering to take the last few minutes to cool down. Also avoid the hottest parts of the day, as overheating and dehydration are potentially dangerous for the fetus. Walking is just one option. You can mold your workout routine out of your interests. Be careful of activities or exercises that have lots of bouncing or require you to lie on your back. Make sure to check your exercises out with your doctor, who can advise you on their safety. Lookout for dizziness or extra pain, as it is an indication that it is time to stop.

Obviously exercise is not the only important element of health during pregnancy. Diet is essential to keeping your body and your baby’s body healthy and strong. Don’t forget to add a prenatal vitamin to your diet and eat foods that are rich in vitamins and carbohydrates. Taking care of your body is the best thing you can do for your baby.

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