The benefits of exercise during pregnancy have been proven time and again, but this information has been slow to spread to expecting moms and their doctors. Even those who understand the benefits may lack the sufficient motivation to stick with a fitness routine over the long term. This has been shown by epidemiologists to be partly a result of perceived risk. 82 percent of non-exercising women in one study still believe exercising longer than 30 minutes is dangerous for the pregnancy.
These women are likely missing out on key benefits due to a false perception of risk. Other mothers-to-be start and stop exercise programs due to a simple lack of motivation. They become bored or find something more stimulating to do, such as spending time with friends or continuing to work. Pregnancy fatigue also takes its toll.
Support for Fitness
There are several great ways to maintain exercise motivation during pregnancy and any other time. My friends and family provided a constant reminder of the reason for exercising and their company helped the time pass faster. Instead of brunch or a shopping trip with friends, plan a hike or continuous walk through the mall in inclement weather. Fitness classes can also help by putting mom in touch with other moms in the same situation.
Another motivational tool is routinely overlooked. There are many forms of safe exercise available. Some of these are going to be more appealing to one person and less so to another. Mom should take the time to explore her interests. A more appealing form of exercise is one that will maintain interest. For example, walking on a treadmill bored me immediately but yoga was my favorite way to exercise that I looked forward to everyday.
Walking Tips for Pregnancy
Moms need to realize that any form of exercise posing low risk of injury and maintaining a heart rate of under 140 beats per minute is safe for almost everyone. There is a risk of exercise in certain conditions, so moms should keep their health providers informed about any routines. The following tips will improve benefits from walking and help with other exercise routines too.
Extreme weather should be avoided due to the risk of overheating. It is also necessary to carry water on any walks or hikes and drink to thirst. For optimum hydration, everyone should drink two glasses of room temperature water first thing in the morning.
Stretching and simple calisthenics will reduce the risk of pulling a muscle and increase blood flow to the legs.
Yoga and/or medicine ball exercises should be used to increase stability. Balance is extremely important to reduce the risk of falls.
Remember expectant mothers should use their best judgment when it comes to exercising during pregnancy. I believe it is important to consult with a doctor about which exercise activities will be most beneficial. Doctors are the best resource when it comes to any type of questions during this time. Do not hesitate to ask them any pregnancy and delivery health questions about diet, circumcision, cord blood banking, or even pain management medication. This is the time of a women’s life as they prepare for a big change in their life. Enjoy it and have fun with your exercises!
“Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.”