Over the past few years, many women have asked me about exercise during pregnancy. There are so many fun activities and exercises that you can do during pregnancy. Not only is exercise healthy for you and baby, but it can also be a fun part of your day. It can serve as a social hour if you go to the gym with friends. It can be a meditative escape if you choose to go for a quiet walk by yourself.
You have a special 9 months to offer very direct influence to the health of your baby, and good exercise is just one more way that you can help ensure your baby is born as healthy and strong. A little exercise can provide fantastic benefits for your health during pregnancy. (Remember, always keep your doctor informed of your exercise activities.) Exercise does the following:
- Makes you feel good and helps lessen nauseous feelings during the first few months while your body is naturally cleansing itself. It boosts your energy and raises your serotonin levels (serotonin is the feel good chemical that is released in your brain when you move a lot).
- Improves circulation so that your body and baby receives more oxygen and helps speed up your metabolism so you can eat more healthy whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Helps prevent cellulite formation and keeps you toned and strong as you are gaining about 3-5 pounds a month.
- Strengthens your body so you will be in good shape when your delivery day. Delivery can be easier if you are in shape.
Need I say more … Just taking time for yourself 15-30 minutes a day will give you the feel-good energy you need. If you have never exercised very much, just start out slowly and be careful not to overdo it. Listen to your body. Do not exercise to the point of exhaustion and breathlessness. Always wear comfortable shoes that give you strong ankle and arch support. And always bring water with you. Just keep moving by staying active and alert.
Remember to Have fun! When your baby is born just bring him or her along. Your baby likes to keep moving too and there are many places that offer exercise classes for moms and newborns.
Here are some fun exercise suggestions:
- Walking 15 minutes in the morning and afternoon
- Yoga for pregnant women (Look for classes in your area)
- Dance classes
- Biking on moderate trails
- Weight training with light weights to improve muscle strength and tone
Things to avoid:
- Extremely hot weather
- Rocky uneven terrainwhen you are hiking or walking
- Contact sports (soccer, basketball, football …)
- Sky diving, parasailing, frisbee, scuba diving and racecar driving
Get out and make exercise a fun part of your day. Get into a routine and you’ll find yourself looking forward to your exercise time!