Doctors recommend that women exercise during pregnancy for many reasons. The more fit a woman is, the more likely she is to make it through her pregnancy without developing specific health complications, like gestational diabetes. Exercise also helps to prepare a woman for the physical demands of the third trimester and the act of labor, while also making it more likely that she’ll bounce back from her pregnancy quickly during the postpartum period.
Unfortunately, there are many exercises which pregnant women are told not to do, so people who enjoy activities like high-intensity aerobics or contact sports may be left with less thrilling options, like walking for thirty minutes every morning. The good news is that there are lots of different ways to stay fit during your pregnancy and it’s unlikely that you won’t be able to find something that will keep you interested and fit as your baby belly grows.
Here are some ideas:
(1) Dancing. Dancing and dance-based workouts offer a lot of aerobic activity without the jumping and balance challenges that pregnant women are discouraged to avoid. Find a dance class that will keep you moving and entertained and you just might discover a side of yourself you’ve never known! Just be sure not to enroll in anything that requires heels (like some latin dance classes) and definitely stay away from the more complicated flips if you choose to take a swing class! If you’ll be dancing your way to fitness at home, load up your iPod with about 30 minutes worth of tunes that make you want to shake it and just keep moving until the music stops. Note: whether you’re in a class or dancing at home, don’t spin around too much. Losing your balance could make you fall, which might harm your baby.
(2) Playing. Although many video game consuls now offer games that force you to get up and move, they’ve come under fire from critics who say that the exercise you get while playing video games isn’t strenuous enough. Well, that’s good news for you! Many video game activity games actually offer the perfect amount of physical activity for pregnant women and there are a ton of options out there now which are designed to cater to your interests and choice in video games. The Wii has the widest selection right now and you can get everything from exercise programs which incorporate a balance board to arcade games that make you stand up and swing the controllers around to win those prizes. Not to be outdone, Microsoft has recently released a movement based piece of technology for the xBox360 and, although game choice is currently limited, users are reporting more freedom of movement and better responses by the games.
(3) Prenatal Yoga. Prenatal yoga might sound like a bit of a snooze, but it’s actually very beneficial. Yoga improves flexibility and balance, two things that are challenged by the changing shape of pregnancy. Plus, the class will be full of other pregnant women, so the potential for bonding with someone who knows exactly what you’re going through is high!