Being active during pregnancy will contribute to your health, as well as your baby's. Regardless of a woman's physical fitness prior to pregnancy, most pregnant woman can exercise. The difference is that the type and intensity of exercises you do, will probably need to be modified.
There are various types of cardiovascular activities that are beneficial during pregnancy (such as walking and swimming). However, for strength training and toning, you need to use some sort of resistance, such as lifting weights.
Lifting weights helps strengthen and tone various muscles that will be important when you go into labor. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a healthy woman can do resistance exercises during pregnancy.
Below are a few tips on how to do your weight-lifting routine correctly:
- If you've never done a weight-lifting routine or any other type of exercise, make sure to consult your doctor or gynecologist before starting. If you've already planned a weight-lifting routine, set simple goals and start gradually.
- Warm up by walking at a fast pace for 5 minutes before lifting weights. If you have a stationary bicycle, try cycling for 5 minutes at a gentle pace.
- Use lighter weights than you would normally use when not pregnant, and do more sets.
- Make sure to stretch between sets.
- Don't arch your back.
- Don't let the weight of the baby make you hunch over.
- Try to relax your knees and don't put all your weight on them.
- Breathe regularly and don't hold your breath. Exhale as you lift the weights.
- Do short, low intensity routines.
- If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop immediately.
It's important to properly evaluate the impact of specific exercises on your baby. This way you will know if you need to make any changes to the exercise.
Remember, consult your doctor about the exercise routine you have chosen and if you experience any type of pain or complication during pregnancy.
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