Exercising For Two
It's not easy to find motivation to exercise while pregnant. You may be battling fatigue, nausea, and back pain. But exercising is very important for your well-being and keeps you from gaining excess weight that will be hard to lose after the birth. Also, many women feel that regular exercise during pregnancy shortens labor and delivery times.
Choosing the kind of pregnancy exercise that's right for you is an important aspect of keeping your motivation high. A lot of pregnant women are choosing prenatal yoga classes as an ideal way of staying fit. For one thing, it's nice to exercise with a group of women who are all in the same pregnancy boat. It makes for a supportive environment. But also, as a low-impact exercise, yoga can help pregnant women keep fit, relieve nausea and back pain, and help a woman get through her labor and delivery.
Prenatal yoga offers special benefits for pregnant women. Moms-to-be are taught various postures they can adopt to build body strength and achieve greater flexibility. A good yoga teacher modifies postures so that expectant moms avoid spending time on their abdomens and backs. The women learn to be in touch with their bodies so that there will be an awareness of any overworked muscles, abdominal compression, or twisting sensations that would signal a specific physical activity should be avoided.
Exercising in water is another form of low-impact exercise that is great for most pregnant women. Pregnant women tend to exercise for longer periods while in water, and also work their muscles harder. That's because the water lends a natural sense of buoyancy that can make even a pregnant woman feel almost weightless.
Water exercise is known to be associated with fewer risks for injury and strained muscles. The water lends support to the added weight of your pregnancy. Water also helps keep you cool so you don't overheat and run the risk of swollen legs or dehydration.
One study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology demonstrated that expectant moms who did 45 minutes of water aerobics twice weekly over the course of 6 weeks experienced an increased sense of well-being, and a reduction in stress and fatigue.
If you want to try water exercise during your pregnancy, experts say that any swimming stroke you choose is fine, and so is water jogging or water aerobics. But don't try to twist or turn fast and make sure that you are not exercising so hard that it becomes difficult to talk. If you can't speak, you're not getting enough oxygen to your baby.