Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Exercise and Pregnancy
It used to be that if someone was expecting, they were told to take things easy and cut back on the exercise, but today we understand that appropriate exercise during pregnancy can benefit both the mother and the unborn child. Some of the benefits of exercise include:
* more energy
* better sleep
* improved muscle strength and endurance
* alleviate lower back pain
* stress reduction
* prepare you for a smoother delivery
* help you get back your pre-pregnancy figure quicker.
During pregnancy there are many changes to the body such as increased oxygen demand, increased blood volume and blood pressure, weight gain, hormone changes which cause ligaments to stretch, etc. As a result, special accommodations should be made and the following precautions should be followed.
-Avoid supine (lying down) exercises, especially towards the end of the pregnancy.
-Avoid contact sports, ballistic movements, and high impact activities.
-Walking, swimming, resistance training, and low impact activities are safer options.
-Avoid exercising in hot and humid temperatures.
-Don't be too intense or work out until exhaustion.
-If you haven't exercised regularly in the past, then you should ease into it slowly.
-Drink plenty of water before, during, and after working out.
-Listen to your body.
If you have a history of miscarriages, high risk pregnancies, or any other medical conditions, then you will want to take special precautions and as I said before, consult your physician. My hat is off to women who make the selfless sacrifice of enduring a pregnancy and giving birth. One way to improve your quality of life and maintain good health during pregnancy is to participate in an appropriate exercise program that is tailored to your needs and condition.