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Exercise

Benefits of prenatal exercise

Exercise during pregnancy benefits you and your baby:

  • Increases energy
  • Relieves constipation, leg cramps, bloating and swelling
  • Promotes muscle tone and improved posture
  • Helps manage pregnancy-induced diabetes
  • Improves sleep and relaxation

Exercise also helps you prepare for labor and delivery and gives you a jump start to getting your body back to its pre-baby shape.

Consult your physician

Before you begin an exercise routine, you should consult your physician. It's possible that certain health conditions could keep you from exercising during pregnancy.

Exercise safely

Once you've received approval from your physician to exercise during pregnancy, it's important to choose a program that's safe. Consider the following:

  • Pregnancy hormones make your ligaments prone to injury
  • As your belly grows, your center of gravity will shift
  • The weight you gain during pregnancy makes your heart work harder

Because of this, you should do moderate exercise for about 30 minutes most days. And remember the 30 minutes can be broken down into 10 minute increments throughout the day.

Dos and don'ts

Do
  • Start slow with walking, swimming or cycling
  • Wear supportive shoes and sports bra
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Stretch before working out
  • Cool down for 5 to 10 minutes after working out
  • Work out consistently to maintain fitness
Don’t
  • Don’t exercise to lose weight
  • Don’t exercise outside when it’s hot or humid
  • Avoid deep knee bends, full sit-ups, double leg lifts and straight leg toe touches
  • Avoid exercises that require you to lay on your back
Warning signs
Stop exercising if you experience any of the following symptoms
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Uneven or rapid heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble walking due to calf pain
  • Headache
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Contractions that continue after rest
  • Fluid coming from the vagina
  • Decreased fetal movement

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