Maternal Fitness

Make Exercise a Priority During Your Pregnancy

Regular exercise is important to keep our heart, muscles and bones healthy. It is just as important during your pregnancy and can have MANY benefits during labor, as well as help you get back into shape faster afteryour sweet baby is born. During pregnancy, regular exercise can...

...alleviate backaches
...normalize constipation
...prevent or treat gestational diabetes
...improve your mood you sleep better
...increase your overall energy level.

With the information overload in today’s world, it can be scary and confusing for expectant moms to know which types of exercises they should and should not do. It is my hope that this blog post will give you sound  tips to follow as you start or continue an exercise regimen during your pregnancy.

1. Check with your doctor first. Touch base with your doctor before beginning an exercise program to make sure you do not have an obstetric or health problem that would limit your activity. Visit your prenatal chiropractor for an adjustment, so any joints that have shifted are in proper alignment before putting them into motion!

2. Don’t overdo it. During exercise you should be able to talk normally and keep your heart rate under 140 beats per minute to avoid overexertion.

3. Be aware of the physical changes. The hormones in pregnancy cause the joints and ligaments to become more relaxed, so avoid any jerky, balistic movements that could cause injury. Also, with the added weight of the baby bump in the front, your balance and center of gravity are altered. Avoid exercised that could further compromise balance and lead to a fall.

4. Don’t exercise to lose weight during pregnancy. You can exercise in pregnancy to stay in shape and feel better, but you shouldn’t try to lose weight in pregnancy by exercising or restricting calories. Instead, make healthy, smart food choices for you and baby.

So how much should you exercise? 20-30min 5 days each week. You'll be surprised once you get started, how quickly time passes.

Which  exercises are good?

--Low force actiivities like walking and swimming are great ways to start an exercise program.
--Cycling is also a very good aerobic activity, but after the first trimester, you should consider only cycling on a stationary bike to prevent falling off a road  bicycle as your belly grows.
--Low impact and water aerobics, as well as strength training, are also terrific ways to get or stay in shape during your pregnancy.
--Yoga for pregnant women is growing in popularity and becoming more available. This is not only a great form of exercise for expectant moms, but also stages the opportunity for you to meet other expectant mothers.

Some Exercise tips:

Always warm up before and cool down after you exercise. Drink PLENTY of water and avoid exercising in hot, humid weather. Make sure you wear comfortable clothing and a supportive bra.

What to watch for during exercise:

If you experience any of these symptoms while exercising, you need to stop and call your doctor immediately: vaginal bleeding, dizziness, chest pain, uterine contractions, leakage of fluid from the vagina or decreased fetal movement.

Exercise during pregnancy has many benefits both during the pregnancy  during delivery, as well as after delivery. Even just a brisk walk every day can make a difference. And I assume every woman would appreciate a shorter labor time. And if that isn't motivation, I don't know what is! Now get out there and do it.

If you are looking for an exercise partner, mention this to me at your next visit and I will do my best to pair you up with another expectant mother!

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