Safe Exercise For Pregnancy | Fit Pregnancy

Safe Exercise For Pregnancy

prep school

The payoffs for having strong abdominal and pelvic-floor muscles are plentiful. “These muscles are a pregnant woman’s best friend,” says Julie Tupler, R.N., author of Lose Your Mummy Tummy (Perseus, 2005) and creator of the Tupler Technique, which is illustrated in her Maternal Fitness DVD/video series (Moon Mountain Entertainment, 2001; www.maternalfitness.

All The Right Moves

If you’ve always exercised, you may be wondering which routines you can safely continue now that you’re pregnant and how hard you can work out. And if you haven’t been active, now’s the time to start moving: Research shows that exercising during pregnancy is good for you and your growing baby and can help you get your body back more quickly after you deliver. Here you’ll find the six safest, most comfortable and effective workouts for pregnancy and information on how to get started on each of them.

Feel Great All Day

It’s one of life’s little ironies: The more active you are, the more relaxed you feel. Pregnancy is no exception. While you may want to lounge on the couch when you’re not working, running errands or socializing, you’ll probably feel more energetic if you exercise. It’s also been well proven that working out can help keep your body strong and lessen your risk for complications during delivery—and may even help you have an easier birth.

Do's & Dont's of Pregnancy

Do Exercise

Exercise is not only safe during most pregnancies, but it also may ease many pregnancy discomforts and possibly shorten your labor and delivery and recovery time.

it takes two, baby

Your partner may not be able to participate in all of the joys of your pregnancy, but he can get involved in more than just attending doctor’s appointments. By helping you to stretch and strengthen your body using the following exercises, he’ll help to make your pregnancy more comfortable and prepare your body for delivery. He’ll also become familiar with the kinds of physical support you’ll need during labor.

10 Great Reasons NOT to Exercise

Yeah, yeah, fitness should be its own reward. But on days when that’s not enough motivation, remember this: Exercise is as close as you can get to a panacea for common pregnancy complaints.

Keeping fit can help you look and feel great, prepare you for labor and improve fetal development. If you’re not sure where to begin, check out our easy, effective workouts.

And the next time you need to convince yourself to get moving, remember the benefits of exercise described here.

1. Rev Those Engines 

Water Works

Exercising in the water is a refreshing way to update your prenatal workouts. Besides offering a buoyant medium for heart-pumping moves, water supplies gentle resistance for toning exercises. All of this may help ease the strain of delivering your baby.

“By moving or simply standing in water, you work the core stabilizing muscles that improve posture and balance,” says Marjorie Johnston, a clinical exercise specialist and master trainer for Speedo’s WaterArt program in Naples, Fla. “By working those muscles regularly, your delivery and recovery will be easier.”

Is It Safe?

Almost every pregnant woman can look back to her early weeks of pregnancy and recall some type of risky behavior. For some it’s the headache tablet, the dental X-ray or the hair dye that makes them wince. In my case, it was the wine tasting that I attended on the night that I conceived. As it turns out, these slip-ups probably are fine, according to medical experts, although pregnant women do need to be alert to behaviors that could put their babies at risk.

on the ball

Soon enough you’ll have plenty of balls in the air, maybe more than you ever imagined. And with that babe in your arms, you’ll be having a ball, too! In the meantime, one of the best ways to prepare your body for the stress of pregnancy and the rigors of labor is to strengthen your legs, abdominal muscles and back using an exercise ball (also called a stability ball).

Get on the Ball

Madeleine Lewis, a 37-year-old fitness instructor in Hawthorne, California, was already working out with a fitness ball when she became pregnant with her second child. Instead of giving up her routine, she kept at it and found the ball was especially useful for keeping her in shape during pregnancy. “I got the chance to teach a six-week course using the ball for Mattel’s pregnant employees,” says Lewis. Fourteen women signed up. “They loved using it. I tried out different moves with them, and they gave me feedback about each one.”

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