The number of women who exercise during pregnancy has dramatically increased over the past couple of years and more pregnant women are seeking the instruction of knowledgeable fitness professionals. However, many women don't like to be confined to their home or the gym for exercise. Here are some guidelines for sports and activities you can do during your pregnancy:
With all of the aforementioned activities, a pregnant woman must take into the consideration of what their overall goal is and talk to their physician about the proper way to go about having a healthy pregnancy. With any exercise you do, there are many modifications that can be made to fit the specific needs of the participant.
- Swimming is a great activity because it helps strengthen your whole body and is a great cardiovascular exercise. Plus, it's low impact, it helps support your weight, and it keeps you cool. One thing, it's probably not a good idea to dive into a pool, especially later in your pregnancy.
- A brisk walk - doing a mile in 12-15 minutes - is a great workout, even if you're new to exercise. Jogging is also OK in moderation, if you did it before you were pregnant. You'll want to avoid overheating and make sure to drink plenty of fluids. Plus, remember that are more off balance now, so be extra careful not to fall.
- Tennis is OK if you played before you were pregnant. You'll want to keep the pace moderate, playing doubles is a great way to do this. Again, you may have more problems with balance, so be careful, especially with sudden stops.
- Golf and bowling are fine too, but they may not give as much benefit as other activities. Again, watch your balance.
- Mind-body classes like tai chi, yoga and pilates are attracting more pregnant participants as well. These types of classes can do wonders for the management of stress and teach students new methods of relaxation. There are many specialty tapes available on the market and you are sure to find and try many new exercises using these tapes.
- This is also not the time for contact spots where you could fall, injure yourself, or be struck in the abdomen, or badly shake the baby. Therefore, avoid these activities: scuba diving, water skiing, basketball, softball, baseball, horseback riding, and snow skiing.
The important thing is to find out what you like to do. Have fun with it and don't get too anxious. This is your time to relax and stay in touch with your body as it goes through the miraculous transformation of pregnancy.