Your entire body changes when you're pregnant. But one thing that doesn't have to change is your commitment to staying fit.
"Exercise is great for expectant mothers who are having low-risk pregnancies. Exercising can improve your energy level, elevate your mood, boost your self-esteem and create a higher sense of well-being for an easier pregnancy while reducing recovery time after your baby is born," says Shanna Missett Nelson, president of Jazzercize.
Moms-to-be should always consult with their doctors before beginning any fitness program.
"Exercising before and during pregnancy can help your delivery go more smoothly," says Dr. John Wichert, OB/GYN.
Cardiovascular training prepares your body for the extreme exertion required while pushing your baby out during labor. Aerobic exercise also increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of your blood, which helps both mom and baby throughout your entire pregnancy.
- Avoid exercises on your back after your first trimester.
- Modify exercises that feel awkward or uncomfortable.
- Avoid exercises that use or push heavily on your abdominal muscles.
- Stop before you are exhausted.
- Stop if you experience dizziness, shortness of breath, headache, chest pains, pre-term labor, abdominal pain or other discomfort.
- Drink plenty of water.
Here are some great exercises for expectant moms:
Workout DVDJazzercise's Pregnancy Workout DVD offers a regular workout that can be done three or four times per week, and also a lighter option. After your baby is born, try Jazzercise's Post Pregnancy Workout DVD.
Walk the WalkWalking is a wonderful way to alleviate some of the normal aches of pregnancy that come as your body adjusts to new alignment in response to your growing belly. "If a woman is active every day, her body will gradually adapt and she will be more comfortable as changes take place." says Dr. Wichert.
Stretch YourselfYoga is a great low-impact method of keeping your joints flexible as they adjust to modifications of pressure and weight.
Get WetSwimming and water aerobics are excellent ways for pregnant women to stay fit. Our natural buoyancy in water supports our bodies, protecting our joints.
Stay ComfortableDr. Wichert reminds moms-to-be to only do what feels comfortable for you. Trust and listen to your body and have a safe, healthy pregnancy.
Judi Sheppard Missett, who turned her love of jazz dance into a worldwide dance exercise phenomenon, founded the Jazzercise dance fitness program in 1969. The workout program, which offers a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga and cardio box movements, has positively affected millions of people. For more information go to jazzercise.com or call (800) FIT-IS-IT.