Staying Fit While Pregnant
Your entire body changes when you’re pregnant. But one thing that doesn’t have to change is your commitment to staying fit.
Jazzercise President Shanna Missett Nelson says exercise is great for expectant mothers who are having low-risk pregnancies. Exercising can improve your energy level, elevate your mood, boost your self-esteem and create a higher sense of well-being for an easier pregnancy while reducing recovery time after your baby is born. Shanna recommends that moms-to-be always consult with their doctors before beginning any fitness program.
Exercising before and during pregnancy can also help your delivery go more smoothly, says Dr. John Wichert, OB/GYN. Cardiovascular training prepares your body for the extreme exertion required while pushing your baby out during labor. Aerobic exercise also increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of your blood, which helps both mom and baby throughout your entire pregnancy.
Avoid exercises on your back after your first trimester.
Modify exercises that feel awkward or uncomfortable.
Avoid exercises that use or push heavily on your abdominal muscles.
Stop before you are exhausted.
Stop if you experience dizziness, shortness of breath, headache, chest pains, pre-term labor, abdominal pain or other discomfort.
Drink plenty of water.
Here are some great exercises for expectant moms:
Jazzercise’s Pregnancy Workout DVD offers a regular workout that can be done three or four times per week, and also a lighter option. After your baby is born, try Jazzercise’s Post Pregnancy Workout DVD.
Walk the Walk
Walking is a wonderful way to alleviate some of the normal aches of pregnancy that come as your body adjusts to new alignment in response to your growing belly. If a woman is active every day, her body will gradually adapt and she will be more comfortable as changes take place, Dr. Wichert says.
Yoga is a great low-impact method of keeping your joints flexible as they adjust to modifications of pressure and weight.
Swimming and water aerobics are excellent ways for pregnant women to stay fit. Our natural buoyancy in water supports our bodies, protecting our joints.
Shanna and Dr. Wichert remind moms-to-be to only do what feels comfortable for you. Trust and listen to your body and have a safe, healthy pregnancy.
Judi Sheppard Missett, who turned her love of jazz dance into a worldwide dance exercise phenomenon, founded the Jazzercise dance fitness program in 1969. She has advanced the business opportunities of women and men in the fitness industry by growing the program into an international franchise business that today, hosts a network of 7,800 instructors teaching more than 32,000 classes weekly in 32 countries.
The workout program, which offers a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, cardio box and Latin style movements, has positively affected millions of people worldwide. Benefits include increased cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility, as well as an overall "feel good" factor. Additional Jazzercise programs include Junior Jazzercise, Jazzercise Lite and Personal Touch. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.