Pregnancy: Exercising Safely During Pregnancy

Creating a Safe and Effective Workout
Remember those pre-pregnancy days when you’d rise early, dash to the gym, and finish, feeling more in control over the stresses of everyday life? Do you need to give that up from the moment the little pink line creeps across the pregnancy test window? For most women, the answer is no, as long as you slightly alter your exercise routine to take into account your new physical state. So go ahead and ride that bike, walk the treadmill, and swim those laps: You will join the millions of other women who sailed through their pregnancy staying healthy, strong, and invigorated through exercise.

Benefits of Exercise
There are a number of excellent reasons to exercise during pregnancy, including:
-- Increasing self-esteem while lowering depression and anxiety levels
-- Helping mom-to-be maintain a steady and reasonable weight gain
-- Reducing pregnancy-associated discomforts
-- Lowering a woman's chance of having a cesarean
-- Shortening recovery time after giving birth
-- Accelerating postpartum weight loss
-- Increasing energy levels
-- Improving sleep quality

Is Exercise Safe During Pregnancy? 
For the mom-to-be with a healthy, normal pregnancy, exercise can be very safe. For those who have experienced pre-term labor, or had some obstetrical complications in this, or previous pregnancies, exercise may not be recommended, or a program may need to be specially tailored to fit their specific needs. The bottom-line? Pregnant women should not attempt a fitness program without consulting their practitioner first. Only by taking a full medical history can your health care provider recommend a routine that will be right for you and your baby.

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