Exercises For Pregnant Women
Pregnant women, with the guidance of a health professional, can exercise to benefit from maintaining fitness during pregnancy. Muscle strength, flexibility and function will leave pregnant women better prepared for carrying the extra weight of carrying a baby, whilst general heightened fitness will aid in preparation for labour, and provide a great tool for stress relief. Performing exercises during pregnancy will also make it much easier to get back into shape after the pregnancy, a time where women often feel negative about their body image.
A great amount of care should be taken when exercising during pregnancy, with potential harm to the baby and mother possible if guidelines, and current health conditions, are not taken into consideration. It is vitally important a pregnant woman seeks advice from their GP, or medical/health professional, when deciding to perform any form of activity or exercise during pregnancy. This article is a general guide, and any advice from a medical professional should rule your decisions. A medical professional may decide exercising during pregnancy will be of risk to you, and/or the baby. Such reasons may include; heart conditions, high blood pressure, past complications during pregnancy, and back and joint issues.
Do not perform exercise with a high level of intensity, ensure exercise is enough to cause an elevated pulse but do not exert yourself, ensuring you never exercise anywhere near exhaustion. Over heating is also an important possible hazard of exercising during pregnancy, so it is vital the exercise is steady and not too vigorous and plenty of fluids are consumed before, during, and after exercise.
Always perform a steady warm up prior to exercise, with the aim of preparing the body for steady exercise. The warm up could incorporate low intensity exercise to elevate the pulse, and gentle stretches to prepare the muscles. Exercise choice should avoid jerking or quick movements, and also should pose no risk of falling or sudden contact with equipment or hard surfaces. Be aware that pregnancy causes connective tissue to soften due to hormonal responses, so extra care should also be taken to reduce risk of injury.
If you attend a large commercial gym, or if you take a look around your local community, you may be able to find pre and post natal classes to attend. These classes can be great for learning exercises to perform whilst pregnancy and opportunities to make friends with other pregnant women who wish to maintain exercise.