While most people see pregnancy as an excuse for women to lay around and eat whatever they want, there are actually great benefits to working out while pregnant. Not only do you feel good, but it can also have great effects on your childbirth.
In fact, staying active during pregnancy boosts mood, improves sleep, and reduces aches and pains. It also helps prevent and treat gestational diabetes and may keep control or reduce preeclampsia (form of high-blood pressure). Working out also prepares women for childbirth by strengthening muscles and building endurance, and makes it much easier to get back in shape after their baby's born.
Reason enough to bust a sweat? Try these great and simple exercises that are safe and healthy for you and your baby.
Experts champion swimming as the best and safest exercise for pregnant women. Swimming exercises both large muscle groups (arms and legs), provides cardiovascular benefits, and allows expecting moms to feel weightless despite the extra pounds of pregnancy. Pregnant women are free to stroke to their own leisure, but diving is out of the question. Swimming is also said to provide a sense of well-being and relieve morning sickness.
Pregnant moms-to-be can bust a move, too. Just ask Ciara, whose hilarious video dancing to fiance Future’s song “Dope” went viral. Dancing gets the heart pumping, and improves your stamina for childbirth. It also can shorten your postpartum recovery period. So make a playlist of your favorite tunes and dance in the comfort of your own living room. Just don’t over do it. Stay away from leaps, jumps or twirls.
Weight training is an awesome way to tone and strengthen your muscles as long as you take it slow and do so in controlled movements. For women who lift on a regularly, it’s encouraged that they reduce the amount of weight they’re lifting and simply increase the amount of repetitions to ensure they’re getting a quality workout.
Stretching is wonderful for keeping the body limber and relaxed and it prevents muscle strain during pregnancy. Similarly, yoga can help maintain muscle tone and keep you flexible with little if any impact on your joints. If you do decide to do yoga, it’s recommended that you augment your regimen with walking or some other type of cardiovascular exercise.
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