Staying fit during pregnancy is important for both the birth process and your overall health during and after the pregnancy. Staying fit while pregnant, however, does not mean taking on strenuous activities or high-impact sports. It means choosing exercises that help you keep your muscles toned and your body strong without endangering you or the baby. There are several wonderful options for pregnancy exercises that will work your entire body.
Many fitness centers offer low-impact aerobics classes. Some are even specifically designed for prenatal exercise. Look for a class that keeps you moving without high-impact moves such as jumping, jogging in place, or doing high kicks. If the class is not specifically for pregnant women, talk to the instructor beforehand to find out if there is any portion of the class you should avoid.
There are many low-impact aerobics dvds available, as well, which are great for home use.
Walking is still one of the most effective exercises. You can keep walking during your entire pregnancy. Your whole body will remain more lean and toned. Your muscles will be stronger and your energy level higher. Walk on a treadmill or find a level walking path in the area and take advantage of it. Drink plenty of water as you walk. As your pregnancy progresses, you may need to adjust with it by slowing your pace, taking more frequent breaks, or reducing the total time you spend walking.
If you can let go of any self-consciousness you have about wearing a swimsuit while pregnant, do so and get in the pool. Whether it is swimming laps or taking a water fitness class, working out in the water provides a low-impact way to work all your muscle groups. You will also feel much lighter in the water and stay cooler as you exercise, which makes swimming a great option if you are pregnant in the summer.
Pilates is a gentle, effective way to maintain flexibility and tone muscles during pregnancy. Look for a class or a video that teaches prenatal Pilates. Or you can get a book or follow online tutorials to create your own prenatal Pilates routine that you can do anytime and without any special equipment.
Yoga has been popular for decades as a low-impact but challenging form of exercise as well as a way to meditate, focus and relieve stress. The psychological benefits can be just as welcome as the toning and agility you will gain physically. Pregnancy can be an overwhelming process, and taking a Prenatal Yoga class or using a prenatal yoga video at home will help you stay fit and relaxed.