Tag: pregnancy

Exercise and Pregnancy!

By Lakisha Laster

Many people believe that exercise during pregnancy could be detrimental to the fetus. Those people are WRONG! Exercise during pregnancy is beneficial to both mother and fetus, physically and psychologically. For the mother it can help with excess weight gain during pregnancy, self body image, anxiety and depression, and the aches and pains of carrying the extra weight around. For the fetus it helps prepare them for the stresses that come along during labor and delivery.  Many side effects that come along with pregnancy can be reduced or prevented by thirty (ONLY 30!) minutes of low intensity exercise most days of the week. Pregnant women should avoid weight bearing activities, the contracting of abdominal muscles, and lying on their stomachs. Women should also be seen and given physical checkups periodically through their pregnancy. It is said that women who exercise throughout their pregnancies will continue to exercise after pregnancy, since pregnancy is when the best habits are formed.

DO’S

  • Push yourself to exercise!
  • Get the recommended amount of 30 minutes a day, most of the days of the week.
  • Warmup
  • Swim, walk, bike
  • Involve others that motivate you
  • Eat healthy
  • Use correct form
  • Keep your baby in mind
  • Stretch
  • Keep hydrated

DON’T’S

  • Avoid weight bearing activities
  • Avoid contraction of abdominal muscles
  • Avoid vigorous intensity activities (if not an avid exerciser before)
  • Avoid lying on your stomach
  • Overheat

Keep your baby in mind and focus on all of the benefits exercise could bring to the both of you.

References

Artal, R., & O’Toole, M. (2003). Guideline of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 37, 6-12

Toity, D. (2004). Exercise and Pregnancy. MMedSci. Research Digest. Primary health care Journal, 14(1), 8.

Weight Training during Pregnancy

Research regarding weight training during exercise can cause quite a controversy. Despite the controversey, there are a few tips that can help pregnancy women workout more safely and comfortably. I urge you to keep an open mind. After all, getting back into an exercise routine after you have a little one can be pretty tough.

1.  Keep up your routine. Just be advised to lower the intensity, not working as vigorously . If you did not exercise before becoming pregnant, you need to make sure you get the green light by your doctor first.

2. Even though every pregnancy is different, and you may feel normal, only workout when you are feeling well. If for some reason you feel light headed, stop what you are doing and call the doctor. Even though you are already in shape, some things may be saying something different on the inside.

3.  If you are trying to find exercises to strengthen your body, avoid doing exercises on your back. There are numerous Pilates and yoga DVD’s made for woman during your pregnancy to help with strengthening of your body. These can relax you and strengthen your abdominals which can lead to an easier delivery. Strengthening your abdomen is also great for helping with lower back pain! I mean, what woman doesn’t want a strong core to help support the little one.

4.  If you want to work on cardiovascular fitness, opt for using the treadmill or elliptical. The elliptical is great if you have joint problems, because it is a low impact exercise. The treadmill is great too, because you can choose how fast, slow and the incline you want to accomplish that day.

5.  Stay hydrated!!!!! Staying hydrated helps reduce swelling, constipation, braxton hicks contractions, nausea, bladder infections and even headaches!

6.  The most important one: Listen to your body. Everyone has a different experience being pregnant. Even each pregnancy a woman has can be completely different. If you ever feel light headed or think you can not go anymore, do not chance it. Call your doctor and tell him or her how you are feeling.

Krystal Nelson