Aerobics While Pregnant

Aerobics While Pregnant

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An exercise class for pregnant women can help you get the exercise you need.

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In generations past, doctors advised pregnant women to avoid exercise during pregnancy, but we now know that aerobic exercise offers numerous benefits to pregnant women. If you're starting a new fitness routine, talk to your doctor first. But unless you have a health condition or are engaging in high-impact aerobics, pregnancy doesn't mean you have to alter your fitness goals.

Aerobic Exercise Benefits

In addition to improving lung, heart and overall health, aerobic exercise offers numerous benefits to pregnant women. Regular exercise can reduce your risk of gestational diabetes, make it easier to sleep, boost your energy and mood and improve muscle health. It may also make labor easier, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Aerobic Exercise Risks

As your pregnancy progresses, your ligaments tend to become looser and more relaxed. While this might make it seem like you're more flexible, it also makes it easier to strain a muscle and injure your joints. As you gain weight, your center of gravity can be thrown off, and this can make it easier to fall or adopt an incorrect posture during all exercise, including aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is generally more challenging during pregnancy because of the extra weight you'll be carrying around, so you might need to scale back your exercise routine.

Exercise Contraindications

For some pregnant women, exercise can pose a health risk. If you are giving birth to multiple babies and are at risk of preterm labor, avoid exercise unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Women with second or third trimester bleeding, preeclampsia, placenta previa and restrictive lung disease should also avoid aerobic activity. If your doctor has placed you on bed rest, you should not exercise unless your doctor gives you permission.

Exercise Recommendations

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days of the week. If you find that you're too tired for strenuous exercise, taking a brisk walk can help you meet this recommendation. Swimming is another option if you find that your joints are achy or your center of gravity is off. An aerobics class for pregnant women can help you get the exercise you need, and is specially tailored to your changing body. However, aerobic exercises that carry a risk of falling -- such as downhill skiing -- are not safe during pregnancy.