Your Health

Regular exercise helps build and repair bone and muscles, gives you energy, and keeps you healthy and is just as important before during and after pregnancy.
You may be feeling tired, heavier and you may not feel at your best, and while most of the time these symptoms are normal during pregnancy, exercise may help provide some relief.

Becoming active and exercising or partaking in some form of physical activity, at least 30 minutes on most, if not all, days of the week can benefit your health in the following ways:

Benefits of Exercise

  • Help prepare you for labor and childbirth.
  • Pelvic Floor exercises to help prepare for an easier birth and recovery.
  • Help get you back in shape or gain a great post pregnancy body.
  • Helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling
  • May help prevent or treat gestational diabetes
  • Increases your energy
  • Improves your mood
  • Improves your posture
  • Promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Is a great social activity
  • Exercise following cesarean section

You should not, however, exercise to lose weight while you are pregnant.

I have found a great site with a FREE DVD on pelvic core technique and exercises. To get your hands on this free DVD, click here to visit Core Wellness.

Getting Started

Before beginning your exercise program, talk with your qualified exercise professional or doctor to make sure you do not have any obstetric or health condition that would limit your activity (see contraindications advised by the ACOG) .

You can ask about any specific exercises or sports that interest you, and dependent on your level of previous exercise activity, type of birth or any current and previous pregnancy problems, these may be able to be incorporated into your routines.

Your qualified exercise professional or doctor can offer advice about what type of exercise routine is best for you.

Please ensure you are aware of all the health conditions that may prevent you from partaking in physical activity prior to partaking in exercise (see contraindications advised by the ACOG).

Choosing Safe Exercises

Most forms of exercise are safe before, during and after pregnancy. However, some types of exercise involve positions and movements that may be uncomfortable, tiring, or harmful and is therefore important to discuss this prior to exercise.

Changes in Your Body

Pregnancy causes many changes in your body. Some of these changes will affect your ability to exercise.

The hormones produced during pregnancy cause the ligaments that support your joints to become relaxed. This makes the joints more mobile and more at risk of injury. Avoid jerky, bouncy, or high-impact motions that can increase your risk of injury.

Remember that during pregnancy you are carrying extra pounds—as much as 25–40 pounds at the end of pregnancy. The extra weight in the front of your body shifts your center of gravity and places stress on joints and muscles, especially those in the pelvis and lower back. This can make you less stable, cause back pain, and make you more likely to lose your balance and fall, especially in later pregnancy.

Heart Rate
The extra weight you are carrying will make your body work harder than before you were pregnant. Exercise increases the flow of oxygen and blood to the muscles being worked and away from other parts of your body. So, it's important not to overdo it.

Try to exercise moderately so you don't get tired too quickly. If you are able to talk normally while exercising, your heart rate is at an acceptable level.

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