Pregnancy Exercise Classes

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Staying fit during pregnancy can reduce discomfort, increase your energy level and improve your stamina and strength for labor. You can opt for low impact cardiovascular activities, continue your previous fitness activities or take prenatal or pregnancy exercise classes. Pregnancy exercise classes offer a safe option for pregnant women looking to get or stay fit, and can be an ideal way to meet other soon-to-be moms.


Types

You should include both cardiovascular and strength training in your pregnancy exercise routine. Cardiovascular options include stationary bicycles, walking, elliptical trainers, swimming and low-impact prenatal aerobics or water aerobics. Many gyms and community centers offer appropriate prenatal aerobic classes. Prenatal yoga is an appropriate strength-training choice during pregnancy, but other classes at your gym may also be an option, especially if you already exercise regularly.

Time Frame

During pregnancy, you should plan to exercise at a moderate intensity level for at least 30 minutes most days of the week, according to the Mayo Clinic website. If you already exercise regularly, you can likely continue your usual routine, as long as you’re comfortable and choosing safe activities. If you are new to exercise, start out slowly, gradually increasing the duration of your workouts as your strength and fitness level improves.

Benefits

Exercise classes during pregnancy provide many benefits from your first trimester through delivery and beyond. Regular physical activity can improve your posture and reduce back pain throughout your pregnancy. You may lower your risk of gestational diabetes and increase your overall energy level during pregnancy, according to WebMD. Staying fit can help you to recover from labor and delivery easily and may leave you with less weight to lose after birth.

Considerations

Some types of exercise are not appropriate during pregnancy. You should avoid any activity with a high risk of falls or injuries, including horseback riding, skiing and running or cycling on rough terrain. Skip contact sports that pose a risk of abdominal injury or high-impact aerobics with jumping and bouncing during pregnancy. Keep your pulse rate below 140 beats per minute during cardiovascular exercise, recommends WebMD, and allow time to warm up and cool down before any physical exercise or prenatal exercise class.

Warning

Check with your physician regarding the safety of pregnancy exercise classes or other exercise routines during your pregnancy. Some conditions, including high blood pressure, a low-lying placenta or placenta previa or heart disease, may contraindicate all exercise. A history of preterm labor, threatened miscarriage or bleeding during pregnancy or a weak cervix also may impact exercise recommendations during your pregnancy.

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