Pregnancy may seem like the perfect time to sit back, relax and take it easy. The fact of the matter, however, is that a sedentary lifestyle may actually make discomfort from swelling, back pain and muscles aches worse.
To keep these troubles at bay, it is important to get active—the right way.
Regular exercise throughout your pregnancy can help you stay in good physical condition and even shorten your labor and recovery times. Although you may not be able to maintain the rigorous workout schedule you had prior to conceiving, you can still take part in activities that will keep you moving. Activities that emphasize stamina and muscle strength will help you bear the added weight of pregnancy, while helping you prepare for the physical exertion of labor. Exercise that focus on these key areas include:
- Cycling on a stationary bike
- Walking, jogging or yoga
Also, back-strengthening exercises such as body bends or curls can help prepare you for the physical act of giving birth.
Reaping the Benefits
Regardless of your chosen activity, getting active will benefit your pregnancy in many ways. From reducing the troublesome symptoms of pregnancy to helping relieve stress and improving posture, regular exercise can help ease the physical burden of carrying your child, while increasing your chances of a speedy recovery.
- Although prenatal exercise is important, remembering your body’s limits is vital. It is vital that you not push your body too far, as you might harm yourself or your baby. During your exercises, should you experience any of the following symptoms, stop immediately and call the doctor:
- Chest pain
- Dizziness or shortness of breath
- Trouble walking
- Uterine contractions that continue during rest
- Vaginal bleeding
- Throughout your pregnancy, getting enough rest is just as important as exercising. Resting during exercise can help you avoid muscle strains or cramps and many other troublesome and potentially harmful injuries. Also, remember that strenuous exercise doesn’t need to be performed daily—take a walk to get active without overworking yourself.