Pregnancy and Exercise

Posted by Admin on August 13, 2006

Zina Macias says she is somewhat of a fitness fanatic. When she got the news that she was pregnant, Zina was determined to continue working out, after receiving the stamp of approval from her doctor. “I like to walk on the treadmill, bike on the bicycle, anything just to keep my circulation, especially in my legs, flowing,” says Zina. Exercising while pregnant has tremendous benefits. It helps maintain body weight during pregnancy and can prevent and control gestational diabetes. But, if you’re going to exercise during the summer months, you need to take precaution. “I try to advise pregnant patients to stay as cool as possible while exercising, this means staying in an air conditioned environment, this is not the time to be jogging outside at noon, swimming is an ideal summer sport, it is easy to keep cool in the water, and the buoyancy is a lot more comfortable on the joints and it is a lot more comfortable as pregnant women gain more weight,” says obstetrician, Dr. Jennifer Wu of Lenox Hill Hospital.

Stationary cycling and low-impact yoga are also beneficial. Keeping hydrated, wearing loose clothing and allowing yourself to sweat will help your work-outs. “There are many signals that tell your body that you are over exerting yourself, some of these signals include shortness of breath, dizziness, pain, extreme fatigue, these are all reasons to take a break have a cup of water,” explains Dr. Wu. Ricardo Thomas has been training Zina since she first found out she was going to be a mom.

 To avoid injury, it’s crucial to exercise with a trainer who specializes in working with pregnant women. “The benefits of exercise for pregnant women is self confidence, easier labor, easier daily activities, walk much better, breathe much better,” says trainer, Ricardo Thomas of Equinox Gym. Be careful when stretching. When a woman is pregnant, certain hormones can cause a loosening of ligaments in the body.

This occurs so the pelvis will open more during childbirth, but, it can also loosen ligaments of the knees and hips...so avoid stretching to the point of resistance. Also, since pregnant women’s feet tend to swell and in some instances, even grow during pregnancy, a properly fitted work-out or exercise shoe is crucial to prevent injury.


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