Guest Author - Vanessa Pruitt
It's important to stay active during your pregnancy whenever possible. Exercise will keep your body fit and keep weight gain within a healthy range. An active pregnancy will prepare your body for the birth of your baby and can even lead to a shorter, easier labor.
Choosing a form of exercise during pregnancy is not always easy. Some types of exercise are not safe during pregnancy, but many can be adapted to pregnancy as well as your personal fitness level. Here are 4 ways that you can have fun staying active during your pregnancy.
Yoga is a versatile form of exercise that adapts well for many people. In fact, prenatal yoga has gained popularity, fitting traditional yoga into less strenuous poses that are easier for pregnant women to manage. The stretching and movement that yoga requires is excellent for relieving many common physical complaints associated with pregnancy.
If you can't find a prenatal yoga class in your area, speak with a traditional yoga instructor. He or she may be able to offer suggestions for adapting a regular yoga class to fit your needs. You also have the option of doing prenatal yoga at home with a DVD or an instruction sheet of the basic poses.
Because of it's concentration on abdomen and hip movements, belly dancing is an excellent way to keep your core muscles strong during pregnancy and your hips loose. It's also a great way to get back into shape after your baby is born. Search for belly dancing classes or an instructor in your area.
Another popular choice for exercise during pregnancy is water aerobics. There are many benefits to exercising in water, especially during the last trimester of pregnancy. Exercising in the water can make your heavy body feel weightless and take pressure off of your joints, allowing for a greater range of motion.
It's common for prenatal exercise classes to include some form of water aerobics. You also have the option of taking a general water aerobics class or just going to the pool on your own. Be careful not to overdo it in the water. Exercising in the water can be so easy that you don't feel the full effects of the exercise until you are done. Exercising too strenuously can exhaust your body and overwork your muscles.
A simple and safe way to stay fit during pregnancy is to walk. Walking gives you the opportunity to get outdoors and get lots of fresh air, and there's not a big risk of overdoing it. Even during cold weather, you have several options for walking. Many people go to malls and indoor gyms to walk when the weather outside is not ideal.
As with any exercise, you should use caution and listen to your body. Some prenatal exercise classes will require that you have your doctor or midwife sign off on your new fitness regimen. It's a good idea to get their okay, especially if you've had any complications during your pregnancy.