The best exercises for a healthy and happy pregnancy
Staying fit is important at every stage in life, but it's particularly helpful when you're growing a baby in your belly. For one, exercise is one of the most natural, most effective and quickest ways to relieve tension and boost your mood -- two things that are at the top of your list as pregnancy discomforts arrive. On the other hand, it's not always wise to continue your usual exercise routine through a pregnancy, as your body will change, and require changes in your lifestyle, throughout your nine months. Learn how to craft an exercise routine to keep you energized and your baby healthy, and which can also lead to an easier labor and delivery.
Exercise for Energy
Cardiovascular workouts will get your blood pumping and keep your energy stores replenished, but it's important to tailor your intensity level to your new form and function. You should aim to cut back your effort so you can easily talk during your workout: this will ensure that your muscles aren't diverting too much blood flow, which means your baby is still getting adequate nourishment and oxygen.
As for the specific type of exercise, loosening joints and muscle ache makes high impact activity fairly uncomfortable for most women, so you may want to stick to brisk walks, swimming or stationary biking. Monitor your heart rate and be careful not to push yourself too hard or too long. Experts suggest that you limit your workouts during pregnancy to 30 or 40 minutes at most.
Exercise for Strength
If you weren't lifting weights before you became pregnant, now is not the time to start. Heavy lifting will cause you to hold your breath more often, and that can disrupt oxygen flow to your baby. Instead, stick to a few sets of light to moderate weight if you want to keep up your strength training, or else switch to a prenatal yoga
practice for the remainder of your pregnancy.
One reason why yoga is so great for a pregnant body is the strength that comes from balance and holding good posture. Many prenatal yoga routines will combine stretching (great for soothing muscles and preparing the pelvis for birth) and strengthening poses that challenge your muscles without taking your breath away.
Exercise for Stamina
If you want a quicker, easier labor (and who wouldn't?), commit to a regular exercise routine now. Whatever activities you choose, make sure you're doing them daily (or at least three to four times a week) to get the best conditioning. Some women figure that they can makes up for some missed workouts with an intensive weekend exercise regimen, but that's not a great idea: regular, moderate exercise will help your body both build and maintain muscle and cardiovascular health, while little burst of intense exercise often result in injury instead of improvement.
Article written exclusively for kidsmalta.com by surebaby.com