Getting Fit For Pregnancy

September 15, 2010

If you're thinking about getting pregnant, the time to begin getting fit is now. Experts recommend you begin a course of regular exercise at least three months before you intend to conceive. If you're already good about getting exercise, you may want to vary your routine to some extent. Note that the level of activity you achieve prior to pregnancy determines how much exercise you can do while pregnant.

Hard Work To Get Pregnant

Any preconception fitness plan worth its salt will include aerobics, strength training and flexibility exercises. These types of activities help to prepare your body for the hard work ahead of carrying and delivering a baby. 

Aerobic exercise is good for your heart. You can do this type of exercise 3-4 times a week. Aerobic exercises, for instance jogging, walking, cycling, and swimming help bring nutrition and oxygen to your eggs and will grant you a better night's sleep, too. Aerobics will help you maintain a healthy pregnancy weight while minimizing the effects of such symptoms of pregnancy as backache and constipation.

Strength training involves the use of resistance or weights and is done daily. Strength training builds up lean body mass while strengthening your lower and upper back, pelvic floor, abdominal muscles, and lower body. The muscles in these areas bear the brunt of your pregnancy.

Here is the place to add in some Kegel exercises. This squeezing of the pelvic muscles helps you keep this area healthy and doing them now can speed your recovery after you give birth. Another benefit of Kegel exercises is that they can prevent you from developing urinary stress incontinence, or the accidental leakage of urine that can come with gestation.

Calming Effect Of Exercise

Strength training should be balanced by adding in activities that increase your flexibility. Stretching and yoga are prime examples of flexibility exercises. Flexibility exercises reduce your risk for tendon and muscle injuries incurred during exercise. They also have a calming effect, and may help you release pent up anxiety. 

What's the best way to begin your preconception exercise plan? Here are some tips:

*Consult your physician before embarking on any exercise regimen

*Pick an activity you like, instead of one you dread

*Choose a time for your exercise program and never deviate

*Grab a friend and make her commit to exercise with you for company and motivation

*Start slowly and stop the second you feel tired. If you exercise too much, you'll begin to burn away so much fat that it will affect your fertility!

*Listen to what your body tells you. If an activity causes pain, stop doing it so you won't sustain an injury!


   

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