When you're expecting, it's important to get regular exercise. Keeping your body healthy can reduce pregnancy-related issues like lower back pain and could shorten the amount of time you spend in labor.
However, running or participating in high impact workouts may not be as comfortable once your belly starts growing. But there are exercises that may prove more comfortable for your pregnant body.
While you should check with your obstetrician before starting any exercise routine, here are some workouts that will benefit both mom and baby.
Taking a short walk around your neighborhood is a great way to get exercise, especially for beginners. You'll get cardiovascular exercise but your knees and ankles won't suffer. And you can walk practically anywhere during the course of your pregnancy. Just look for smooth surfaces free of potholes or obstructions and wear supportive shoes.
Swimming is an excellent way for pregnant moms to exercise. Swimming allows for increased range of motion without stressing your joints. The backstroke is a good choice for pregnant women since you don't have to rotate your torso. If you don't want to swim, consider a water aerobics class or just walk laps around the pool. Avoid heated pools or hot tubs while pregnant and don't dive or jump into pools.
Doing yoga will help keep your joints limber and flexible. Yoga also strengthens your muscles, stimulates circulation and helps you relax. As your belly gets bigger, avoid positions that require a good deal of balance. And starting in the second trimester, avoid lying flat on your back. Your uterus is heavier by this point which puts a lot of pressure on your arteries and veins, thus decreasing blood flow to your heart.
Believe it or not, you can lift weights while pregnant. It's great practice for the heavy lifting you'll do once baby arrives! Plus, strengthening your muscles will better prepare your body for childbirth. To be safe during pregnancy, reduce the weight you'd normally use and do more repetitions. Weights that are too heavy can strain your muscles and put pressure on your abdomen. As with yoga, don't lay flat on your back and don't hold your breath while lifting. Doing so can raise your blood pressure and decrease blood flow to your baby.
If you're pregnant and need an obstetrician to provide prenatal care, look to Peconic Bay Medical Center for board-certified physicians. And when you're ready to find a pediatrician, contact Peconic Bay Medical Center for a physician to care for your child.