Monday, August 4, 2008

Top 10 Fitness Tips for Pregnancy

We all see those adorable mommies that are just 100% belly - and yes, sometimes it's genetic, but chances are those little ladies are getting their behinds up and moving from day one to the end of their pregnancies.

Here are some tips that Kristy found and she LIVED by them during all 4 of her pregnancies. As soon as I can steal some of her photos of right before she delivered you'll see that she most definitely was fit and healthy...ready to deliver perfect babies...and on track to get her pre-maternity body back!

To Do:

  1. Select a fitness program that includes cardio, strength training, and flexibility components.

  2. The American Pregnancy Association generally recommends that cardio training be limited to between 15 and 30 minutes and should include low-impact cardiovascular activities such as brisk walking, running, elliptical, biking, or low-impact aerobics classes. Athletes and other highly fit individuals, meanwhile, are authorized to work out for longer periods, but again, should consult their physician regarding their proposed fitness routine.

  3. Pregnant women should keep their heart rate during cardiovascular activities to no more than 140 beats per minute.

  4. When strength training, pregnant women should be sure to train the shoulders, upper back, chest, and arms (trust me, when you’re schlepping around a 10 lb baby, you’ll appreciate the advanced training.)

  5. Abdominal exercises are also encouraged throughout pregnancy, although personal trainers recommend that you sub conventional sit-ups and crunches (which are both strictly prohibited after the first trimester because they can reduce blood flow to the fetus) for pelvic tilts in either a standing, seated or all fours position.

  6. Pregnant women are also encouraged to stretch before and after workouts. Specifically, women are advised to stretch their hamstrings and backs (which become strained as a women’s burgeoning belly—and boobs—throw off her center of gravity). Ankle rotations are also recommended to reduce swelling, although personal trainers recommend against foot flexion during pregnancy as it can result in calf cramps.

  7. Although recommended as part of any fitness program, warm-ups and cool-downs are particularly important during pregnancy to allow the mother’s heart rate and blood pressure to adjust in a slow, safe and controlled manner.

  8. Shell out for new sneakers. During pregnancy, feet can increase as much as two full sizes and, perhaps even worse, the effects can be permanent! When shopping for new kicks, select a pair that provides good ankle stability and has added arch support.

  9. It is especially important for women to remain hydrated during exercise. Experts recommend that women drink one pint of water prior to exercise and an additional cup for every 20 minutes of sustained activity to maintain optimal hydration.

  10. Eat up! While you aren’t technically “eating for two,” pregnant women—and particularly those who exercise—need to be sure to scoff an additional 150 to 300 calories per day (pickles and ice cream anyone?)

The main thing is just get out there and do SOMETHING and listen to your body. Exercising while pregnant results in a higher-than-normal increase in oxygen demand (likely due to the baby pushing up against the diaphragm and reducing its ability to expand and contract), meaning that you will feel tired more quickly.

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