Prenatal exercise is important because it helps ensure an easier delivery as well as a more rapid recovery; not to mention it can be fun!
Specifically, prenatal exercise helps:
- Improve muscle tone strength, and support
- Increase flexibility of muscles and joints
- Stimulate circulation and increase ventilation
- Renew energy and reduce tension and fatigue
- Promote physical comfort and encourage a sense of well-being
- Provide diversion from daily activities Active exercises such as walking
Good posture is essential. When standing or walking, strive to hold your body in the same way you did before you were pregnant. It is important for you to stand erect, with your shoulders back, and your buttock muscles contracted. This helps take the strain off the small of your back.
When standing for long periods of time, such as when washing dishes, stand with one foot ahead of the other and shift your weight back and forth with the motions of your activity. When climbing stairs, keep your back straight and avoid leaning forward.
When walking, remember to make full use of the lower back, hip, and abdominal muscles. Avoid waddling.
swimming, or tennis are essential for cardiovascular strength and overall body conditioning. They also help burn extra calories. It is important, however, to avoid breathlessness and/or a heart rate greater than 140 beats per minute.
While pregnant, concentrate on toning exercises for the pelvic, abdominal, back, and leg muscles. The following pages contain groups of exercises designed for specific muscle groups. Discontinue any exercise that causes pain or discomfort.
In addition to the toning exercises outlined here, taking a brisk walk each day is a very beneficial activity for general body conditioning and helps promote good circulation for an expectant mother.