5 ways to stay fit when pregnant

Theres no need to hang up your gym gear because you're pregnant. Staying active over the next nine months will do wonders for your wellbeing not to mention keeping your pregnancy bod looking pretty awesome. Check out these five fab ways to keep fit

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SWIMMING

WHY WE LOVE IT: Pregnancy and swimming is the perfect match. Your bump will feel weightless in the water, which helps relieve stress on your joints you'll love this in the later stages when you feel like you're carrying a baby hippo inside your belly! Swimming is a safe, low-impact toning and cardio workout that improves circulation. Whats more, regular swimming may alleviate the dreaded morning sickness and help improve sleeping patterns. The great thing is you can swim throughout pregnancy and all you need are your swimmers, a pool or just the ocean. Whats not to love?

TRAINING TIP: The breaststroke kick (yep, that's the frog) is not recommended during pregnancy as your pelvic ligaments soften and joints can be overstretched quite easily, so use front crawl legs. Experiment with different strokes and find one that's comfortable for you.

PILATES

WHY WE LOVE IT: Attending regular Pilates classes will help build your core strength, which will tone your back, abdominals and those all-important pelvic muscles you've heard so much more about since becoming pregnant. And if there was ever a time you need a strong core and toned pelvic floor, now is it! Youll be thankful for those Pilates sessions post-birth too, not only because they help condition your body for a faster recovery, but a strong core will make all the lifting you'll be doing as a new mum much easier (tip: babies and strollers are heavy).

TRAINING TIP: Attend a prenatal Pilates class as the exercises are specially designed for mums-to-be. Regular classes can involve positions that aren't suitable during pregnancy such as lying flat on your back not advisable after the first trimester due to pressure on a major vein called the vena cava, which can reduce blood flow to your brain and uterus, making you feel dizzy, breathless or nauseated. In short, it's not good!

AQUA AEROBICS

WHY WE LOVE IT: If you want greater flexibility, increased muscle tone and heaps more stamina (youll need plenty of that during labour) get to your nearest pool and join an aqua aerobics class. It has all the benefits of swimming, plus it's a sociable and fun activity. If you join a class designed for pregnant women you'll make new bump buddies to swap pregnancy notes with. Regular aqua aerobics classes are perfectly okay just let the instructor know you are pregnant.

FIT FACT: Need more of a reason to get in the pool? A 2008 Brazilian study published in the journal Reproductive Health found that pregnant women who regularly did aqua aerobics classes made fewer requests for painkillers during labour. Sounds like a good enough incentive to us.

YOGA

WHY WE LOVE IT: There are prenatal yoga classes popping up all over town and for good reason. This holistic practice has heaps of benefits for pregnancy, labour and post-birth. Regular sessions will help increase your strength and flexibility (useful for getting into and maintaining different positions during labour), improve posture (great for back problems), boost circulation and ease fluid retention (goodbye cankles!), increase energy levels and relieve muscle tightness. Oh, and you'll be pleased you learnt those breathing and relaxation techniques come D-day. Its the perfect all-over workout for a healthy mind and body. PS. We challenge you not to fall asleep during the meditation ahhh, bliss!

TRAINING TIP: The hormone relaxin causes the ligaments that hold the uterus to soften during pregnancy, putting you at greater risk of strains and other injuries. This means you should avoid over-stretching and give the challenging positions a miss twists, sit-ups, headstands, backbends are strictly off-limits, ya hear. As with Pilates, it's advisable to attend a prenatal class where the exercises are designed for pregnancy.

WALKING

WHY WE LOVE IT: Did you know that walking is one of the best cardiovascular exercises during pregnancy because it keeps your fitness levels up without jarring your knees and ankles? It's also a safe activity to continue throughout all three trimesters and one of the easier ways to start exercising if you we're sedentary before you saw that blue line appear. The benefits don't stop there: it's one of the few exercises that doesn't involve any specialised training, you can do it anytime and anywhere, and there's no need to pay for a class. So get your comfy (well-fitted) shoes on, head outdoors and be proud when your walk turns into a waddle.

TRAINING TIP: A few brisk walks (read: no marathons) in the fresh air during the day can help you sleep better at night although, we're not promising it will prevent those late night trips to the loo! If you don't like strolling solo, find a walking buddy to make it more of a sociable activity.

Pay attention! Important stuff you should know

  • If you have never done an exercise before, attend classes to learn the technique under supervision. Dont rely on a home DVD as you could end up doing more harm than good.
  • Never exercise to exhaustion or breathlessness now is not the time to try and beat your PB! Do the talk test you should be able to maintain a conversation comfortably while exercising.
  • Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.
  • Avoid overheating you don't want to raise your core temperature. If you feel uncomfortably warm, nauseated, dizzy or short of breath, stop exercising.
  • If you experience bleeding or uterine contractions, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Dont skip the stretches! Remember to warm up and cool down properly.
  • If something hurts, don't do it. Listen to your body.
  • We all have our off days, so don't feel guilty if you miss a session.
  • Have fun!

Note: This article is not intended as medical advice. It is recommended to seek guidance from your health care provider before exercising in pregnancy.

 

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Posted in Dentistry Post Date 05/23/2018


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