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Your Pregnancy After 35 : Exercise during and after Pregnancy (part 3) - Benefìcial Exercises during Pregnam

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6. Benefìcial Exercises during Pregnam

Keep in mind a few general precautions about exercising during pregnancy that apply to most pregnant women. Your healthcare provider may want to discuss additional precautions that apply specifically to you.

If you participate in a competitive sport, such as tennis, you may be able to continue, but expect to change the level at which you play. Don’t get carried away or overwork yourself. The goal is not to win the game but to maintain fitness and have a good time! You may want to pick a less-strenuous sport to participate in during pregnancy. Some are listed below; most are considered acceptable for women of any age in a normal, low-risk pregnancy:

walking

swimming

low-impact aerobics designed specifically for pregnant women

water aerobics

stationary bicycling

regular cycling (if you’re experienced)

jogging (if you jogged regularly before pregnancy)

tennis (played moderately)

yoga or Pilates (don’t lie on your back after 16 weeks of pregnancy)

Swimming and Water Exercises

Some women say that while they’re pregnant, the only time they really feel comfortable is in the water. Being in the water can have a calming effect, and it can help reduce swelling.

Because water supports you, you will feel much lighter, and you won’t have to worry about keeping your balance. Water also supports the weight of the fetus, relieving some stress in your lower back. That enables you to adopt a more relaxed posture and to enjoy a greater range of motion while in the water.

Being in the water reduces the effect of gravity, and this in turn reduces pressure on your joints—a great temporary relief for some women. In addition, exercising in the water makes it significantly easier for your heart to pump blood. That’s a real benefit, especially if you have hypertension.

A balance ball may be a good purchase. Exercising on a big exercise ball is easier on your back while it strengthens core muscles. Some women use them during labor to help relieve pain!

You can get a good workout in the water. Water exerts 12 times the resistance of air on limbs—you’ll expend more energy moving through water than you would walking on a street.

Your baby is well protected inside your body in the water. There are actually three barriers to provide protection—the amniotic membrane that surrounds the baby, the cervix and the vagina. Don’t be concerned about water getting to the baby. However, if your bag of waters has broken, do not exercise in the water.

Pregnancy Aerobics, Yoga and Pilates Classes

Classes designed for pregnant women can be a good exercise choice. They concentrate on your unique needs, such as strengthening abdominal muscles and improving posture. When choosing a class, be sure the instructor has proper training and the class meets guidelines developed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

If there are no classes available in your area, exercise DVDs for pregnant women may be available online, at your local library or video store. They are a good alternative to aerobics classes.

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