Not only should you try to raise your activity levels, but you should also reduce the amount of time you and your family spend sitting down.
For a pregnant woman, the benefits of moving more during pregnancy begin immediately and last your whole life. Your baby will start reaping the benefits in utero, too. It is good to let you know that:
a) You are likely going to gain less weight if you exercise regularly
b) Your labour and delivery will be much easier
c) You lower your gestational diabetes risk by as much as 27 percent.
d) you are less likely to get constipated
e) You get more energy
f) You’re more likely to avoid a forceps delivery, C-section or other intervention.
Exercise does wonders during pregnancy. It boosts mood, improves sleep, and reduces pregnancy aches and pains. It helps prevent and treat gestational diabetes and may keep preeclampsia at bay. It prepares you for childbirth by strengthening muscles and building endurance, and makes it much easier to get back in shape after your baby's born.
Exercise is so beneficial during pregnancy that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends pregnant women exercise at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week.
The ideal workout gets your heart pumping, keeps you limber, manages weight gain, and prepares your muscles without causing undue physical stress for you or the baby.
The following activities are usually safe for expectant moms, although some of them may not work for you during the last few months of your pregnancy. Make sure you consult your doctor before embarking on any exercise regimen.
These are simple exercises a pregnant woman can do on her own:
One of the best cardiovascular exercises for pregnant women, walking keeps you fit without jarring your knees and ankles. It's also easy to do almost anywhere, doesn't require any equipment beyond a good pair of supportive shoes, and is safe throughout all nine months of pregnancy.
Healthcare providers and fitness experts hail swimming as the best and safest exercise for pregnant women. Swimming is ideal because it exercises both large muscle groups (arms and legs), provides cardiovascular benefits, and allows expectant women to feel weightless despite the extra pounds of pregnancy.
Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and tones your body. And if you take a class for pregnant women, you'll enjoy the camaraderie of other moms-to-be and feel reassured that each movement is safe for you and your baby.
You can get your heart pumping by dancing to your favorite tunes in the comfort of your own living room, with a DVD, or at a dance class, but steer clear of routines that call for leaps, jumps, or twirls.