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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Prenatal Exercise: Do's and Don'ts

Get out there and shake that pregnant ass!! You heard me, you're a beautiful life creating goddess, now shake it!

Exercise is such an important part of staying healthy during your pregnancy. It will boost your energy, help you sleep better, reduce discomfort, improve your self image and reduce stress and uplift your spirits.

If that's not already a win-win situation add these two zingers to the mix and you won't be able to say no!
First, exercise during pregnancy will prepare you for child birth. Child birth is hard, some equate it to running a marathon. The better shape your in during your pregnancy, the "easier" childbirth will be. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in a recent news release stated "Women who are expecting can benefit greatly from exercise especially yoga." Training for childbirth through yoga may ease labor and even shorten the time it takes to deliver your baby.

Secondly, exercise during your pregnancy will help you get that pre-pregnancy body back after birth....the same one that got you knocked up to begin with! Though yoga and other exercise you will maintain your strength and muscle tone throughout pregnancy allowing you body to bounce back easier after you give birth. This alone may be motivation enough for most women to start a pregnancy exercise regimen.

Whether you're new to yoga or other exercise or you're a fit pro, here are some tips for prenatal exercise:

  • Snack first. About 30 minutes to an hour before you start your exercise, eat high-energy foods such as a fruit smoothie, cereal, banana, or bran muffin.
  • Warm up and cool down. Take about 10 minutes to warm up before you exercise and another 10 minutes to cool down afterward.
  • Wear an athletic bra that will provide good support for your changing body, to avoid any additional pain and tenderness.
  • Wear breathable clothing that will keep you and your baby from getting too hot. Try pairing cotton shorts with an oversize T-shirt. Also make sure to wear supportive, comfortable shoes.
  • Match the exercise to your body. Exercise is good for you, as long as you take into account the current condition of your body.
  • Stop if you feel tired, dizzy, or nauseous. Listen to your body. If it wants to quit, then quit.
  • Drink plenty of water. Drink two glasses of water about an hour before you exercise, then a glass halfway through your workout, and another glass when you're finished.
  • Get your doctor's permission.
  • Exercise if you become short of breath. You should be able to carry on a conversation throughout your workout. If you're unable to speak because you're gasping for air, then you're working too hard.
  • Exercise in extreme heat or humidity. Even a good sweat may not be able to cool your body sufficiently. If you elevate the temperature inside you, it could endanger baby.
  • Use a hot tub or sauna. The high temperatures can raise your core temperature, which puts your baby at risk.
  • Exercise while lying on your back after your third month. Your uterus and baby can press down on major blood vessels, dangerously lowering your blood pressure.
Interested in prenatal yoga? Stay tuned in to 3 Healthy Chicks Keeping it Fresh for more on the benefits of prenatal yoga and incorporating prenatal yoga into your daily routine. Or join me on Tuesday mornings at10:30am The Yoga and Healing Center in Scotch Plains for Wise Mamas Prenatal Yoga!

Keep it Fresh!
~ Terra

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