Image result for PregnancyExercising before, during and after a pregnancy may make for an easier birth and easier recovery. Though not all exercise is recommended, most healthy women can remain active right up to the day they give birth. But not all pregnancy workouts are the same.
The main rule of thumb when exercising while pregnant is to modify your workouts to suit the trimester you are in and to honor what is happening to your body. What is deemed appropriate for your first trimester is certainly not for your third trimester. However, there are several exercises that you can perform right through to the end.
Let’s examine the first trimester. You are just beginning your nine-month journey. You may be feeling a bit more tired, perhaps queazy, but you may not even be showing a baby bump yet. At this time, if you have already had a workout program in place, you can continue with what you’ve been doing. Some doctors may not advise any lying down exercises at any time during your pregnancy, but speak with your physician to determine if this modification is necessary.
Appropriate exercise for the first trimester:
• your normal routine (within limits)
• walking
• swimming
• low impact aerobics (keeping heart rate low)
• strength training
• yoga
As you move into your second trimester, you may be feeling a surge of energy but your body is showing the pregnancy more and certain workouts may not feel as good. Around this time, lying down is not totally recommended and keeping heart rate low and core body temperature low is important. The importance of abdominal and pelvic floor strength should be highlighted throughout your pregnancy, so if you haven’t already started, Kegal exercises should be implemented in all workouts you do.
What is a Kegal, The pelvic floor muscles are like a hammock of muscles located at the base of your torso and under your pelvis. To do a Kegal, simply engage the muscles that you would use to urinate. Keeping these muscles strong may make for an easier birth and less pregnancy related incontinence.
Appropriate exercise for the second trimester:
• Kegal exercises
• pelvic tilts (with head elevated with pillows)
• walking
• swimming
• easy yoga
• strength training (lighter weights)
As you move into your third trimester, you are now getting to the top of your pregnancy weight which may change the way you stand, how long you can sit, and your sense of balance. Aches and pains from your changing body are probably felt more now. Workouts now become about making you comfortable and making sure you simply maintain what you have.
A safe abdominal exercise, which also makes your back feel great, is an all-fours cat stretch and contraction.
To do: on a rug or sticky mat, go down onto hands and knees. Keeping back straight, simply pull your abdominals in towards your spine without altering the straight position of your back. Hold the contraction for 5 seconds, and release. Repeat 10 times. From there, round your back up, like an angry cat, feeling a stretch over your shoulders and spine, then release. Repeat 5 times.
Exercising while pregnant is great for elevating your mood, may help you sleep better, and decreases pregnancy aches and pains. Just make sure you speak with your doctor first and remember to never start a new program while pregnant. Keeping up with what you’re doing is super and will make for an easier birth and a faster recovery.

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