This article should not replace any dietary restrictions or medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your primary care physician.
The news of a pregnancy is an exciting and wonderful occasion! You call your friends and family to celebrate the new member of your family that will soon be here. When the celebrating settles, however, you may find yourself with a seemingly endless mountain of questions and concerns—and understandably so. To help with one of these many questions I consulted Dr. Sean Daneshmand, M.D., to answer the question “Can and should you exercise while you are pregnant?”
Maintaining a regular, moderate, exercise routine may have many benefits to you during your pregnancy as long as: you are a woman with a normal pregnancy, you are not in an increased risk category, and your doctor has not advised against exercise for any other reasons not mentioned. Remember that any questions you have regarding exercise and diet, and how they affect your body, should be directed to your primary care physician.
For those of you who were not exercising before your pregnancy, now may be a great time to start. Exercising while you are pregnant can increase your balance, strength and stamina. More strength means your body can more easily perform tasks, and the increase in stamina gives you more staying power to deal with life’s everyday activities. The benefits of exercising during your pregnancy can also include a reduced risk of both gestational diabetes and postpartum depression.
If you are an avid fitness guru, then there are some considerations that you need to take into consideration now that you are pregnant. Hi-impact exercises, such as jumping up-and-down and similar plyometrics movements are best avoided and replaced with lower impact techniques—for example, a jump squat can be replaced with standing squats or an off-set squat for those who are more advanced.
Whether you are currently working out or ready to begin a healthier lifestyle with your new baby, there are some general guidelines to consider while exercising for the duration of your pregnancy. Abdominal exercises should be avoided. Also, avoid exercises that place you on your back or in a position where your head is lower than your heart; this will help to avoid blood-pressure issues that can occur with pregnancy. Activating your core muscles and continuing balance exercises with strength training will keep you in great shape while pregnant. This will also help you get back to your pre-pregnancy body that much faster once your baby is born!
Keep in mind that as your baby’s due date approaches there are additional limitations for each trimester. Be certain to keep your doctor informed of your activities during your regularly scheduled appointments, and maintain an open line of communication so you and your doctor can discuss what is best for you and your baby.
Finally…Congratulations on the new addition to your beautiful family!
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