Tips for Pre- and Postnatal Fitness

Exercise is good for everyone, especially if you're a mom--even a pregnant one. You can work out your entire pregnancy, and thereafter. This article will share tips to take you through the nine months of your pregnancy and the nine months following childbirth.

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Prenatal Exercise

The most recent research shows that exercise is beneficial for mom and baby during pregnancy. So long as there are no contraindications (ask your doctor), you should be able to work out throughout your pregnancy.

The purpose of exercise changes at this time of your life. Instead of working out to tighten up, you work out to loosen up (for childbirth). Exercise should be stress relieving, not stress producing. The exercises you choose should get your heart pumping, stretch your body, and help you manage weight gain. It will also help prepare you for the "marathon" of labor and delivery. Your pregnancy and labor will be much easier if you're fit.

MoreUpper-Body Stroller Workout

If you have already been working out, you can probably continue your current routine. If you are new to working out, you should start slow and gentle. Popular modes of exercise during pregnancy include walking, water workouts and prenatal yoga classes. The most important thing is to listen to your body: If the exercise doesn't feel right, don't do it. Modifications During Pregnancy

Watch your intensity during pregnancy. This is not the time to go for the burn or work until exhaustion. A good indicator is a talk test: If you can talk through your exercise, you're probably at an appropriate intensity. If it feels too difficult to talk, you're working too hard.

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Be careful with physical sports that could knock you off balance--such as skating or skiing--and of sports that could risk physical trauma such as hockey or rock climbing.

Do not become overheated. Your baby does not have a way to cool himself. Wear light clothing and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Warning Signs

Please stop exercising and go see your doctor if you experience the following:

  • Excessive Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling Faint
  • Vaginal Bleeding
  • Contractions
  • Unusual absence of fetal movement
  • More: How to Exercise During Pregnancy

About the Author

Lisa Druxman, M.A., the creator of Stroller Strides, is a nationally recognized speaker, author and highly regarded expert in the field of pre and postnatal fitness. Stroller Strides is a total fitness program for new moms that they can do with their babies. It includes power walking and intervals of body toning, using exercise tubing and the stroller. Taught by trained instructors, it's a great workout for any level of fitness.

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