What is your first instinct after finding out you’re pregnant? To protect the baby, of course. Everything begins to revolve around keeping that tiny, growing life healthy. You’ll share the exciting news with friends and family, find the best women’s health center for prenatal care, and start wandering through baby departments in amazement.
You sometimes might be misled on what is healthy and what isn’t when it comes to habits during pregnancy; for example, working out when you’re expecting – even though it’s one of the best ways to keep you and your baby healthy. From being afraid to jump around to stopping certain movements or forms of exercise all together, there is a jumble of inaccurate information floating around the internet about prenatal exercise.
At Desert Blossom Women’s Care, we empower you to stay fit and feel strong throughout your pregnancy. Our Arizona midwives respect your ability to grow a baby, and want to help you and the baby be as healthy as possible. That’s where the importance of exercise comes in. There are numerous benefits to staying fit during pregnancy. The experts at Medical News Today state, “Regular exercise during pregnancy can improve health, reduce the risk of excess weight gain and back pain, and it may make delivery easier.”
With that kind of endorsement, there’s certainly no reason to be afraid of prenatal exercise. If you are educated about and aware of what precautions to take, you can stay active throughout your pregnancy – which will keep you and your baby healthy and happy! It’s vital to get approval from a midwife or OB/GYN physician at your women’s health center first; but unless there is a specific complication or concern, you will be encouraged to get moving.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends women with normal pregnancies get 30 minutes or longer of moderate exercise per day. Whether you frequently worked out before getting pregnant or are just starting, the following exercises are great for everyone:
- Walking: Outside or on a treadmill, this is the ultimate low-impact cardio workout for all pregnant women to stay healthy.
- Yoga: Prenatal yoga can strengthen muscles, maintain flexibility and stimulate blood circulation. Many doctors advise against hot yoga, but all other types are fine, provided you modify certain balancing and weight-bearing exercises in classes (ask your yoga instructor if you aren’t sure on specifics).
- Weight training: Whether you do free-weight arm curls or bodyweight squats, this can help you build stamina, strengthen muscles and stay healthier. Follow proper form, and don’t do any weight training while lying on your back.
- Swimming: Exercising in the water – whether swimming or aqua aerobics – takes pressure off your joints while keeping you active. Avoid the hot tub, sauna and steam rooms afterward, so you don’t overheat.
- Low-impact aerobics: Exercises incorporated into aerobics, such as kicking and jogging, are great ways to stay in shape during pregnancy. Let your class instructor know you’re pregnant in case any modifications need to be made.
If you’re new to exercising, ease into the above exercises. Start with 30 minutes per day of slow walking, and increase your pace from there. The internet is a great resource for beginner workout videos, such as prenatal yoga or Pilates. It’s important to combine your active lifestyle with a healthy eating plan to provide your baby with all the nutrients he or she needs. Overall, listen to your body, and don’t overdo it.
Our Southern Arizona midwives are great resources if you’re pregnant in Tucson or Sierra Vista and aren’t sure where to start with exercise. We will help you come up with a workout strategy to ease into a fit pregnancy. At Desert Blossom Women’s Care, we encourage healthy pregnancies, and guide you through your emotional and physical prenatal journey. To learn more about our maternity services or to make an appointment with one of the midwives at our women’s health center, visit our website.