Exercise During Pregnancy

Over the years there have been many rumors out there on whether or not it is okay to exercise while you are pregnant. Positive Health Wellness The truth is, not only is exercise beneficial to you and your baby while you are pregnant, but it is actually recommended if your pregnancy is proceeding normally and you are not experiencing any pregnancy complications. However, before you begin any exercise program, or continue with the one you were doing before you got pregnant, consult with your healthcare provider first.

Why is Exercise Important During Pregnancy?
Regular exercise for 30 minutes a day, most days of the week not only helps build strong muscles and bones, but also improves your mood, and your overall wellbeing.

“You need to be physically active during pregnancy. It has terrific benefits that are associated with a better pregnancy outcome and even shorter labors. It’s a win-win for baby and for mom,” says high-risk pregnancy expert Laura Riley, MD, spokeswoman for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and author of Pregnancy: You and Your Baby.

Other benefits include better posture, less aches and pains in your back, and less difficulty sleeping at night. Exercise also helps improve bloating, constipation, and swelling. While exercising, your body releases endorphins, a chemical in your body that reduces stress, and improves feelings of well-being. It may also help or prevent gestational diabetes.

What Exercises Are Recommended During Pregnancy?
In the past, many people believed that you did not want your heart rate to get above a certain level, while pregnant. However, research has found that there is no one “target” heart rate that’s right for every pregnant woman, and you and your doctor should determine the level of intensity you participate in. Low-impact and non-weight bearing cardiovascular activities like swimming, walking and cycling will be less strenuous on your body, and prevent undue stress on the fetus.

You may find that as your pregnancy progresses, you will tire more easily. This is related to an increase in your blood volume by almost 50% while you are pregnant, putting more strain on your heart as it compensates for the increased volume. You may also become short of breath more easily while you are pregnant. This is due to increased carbon dioxide levels in your blood because the baby’s carbon dioxide is being transferred to your blood.

What Exercises Should I Avoid During Pregnancy?
There is no defined amount of how long and how intense your workouts should be, but most healthcare providers say that if you were doing it before you were pregnant, you are safe to continue doing while you are pregnant, with a few exceptions. These include scuba diving, downhill skiing, horseback riding, are anything that is going to put you at risk of falling or injuring your abdomen.

While you are pregnant, your body produces a hormone called relaxin, which helps lubricate your joints, making labor easier. This can make you more prone to injury, due to increased deep muscle and joint movement. Just make sure you do not stretch yourself beyond your limits, to help avoid injury.

What are the Risks of Exercising During Pregnancy?
While exercising, you need to be in tune with your body, to ensure that you are not overdoing it. If you experience dizziness, spotting, nausea, cramping, or heart palpitations, you should stop immediately and contact your healthcare provider. You also need to make sure that you keep yourself well hydrated while you are exercising. Some experts recommend that you drink 1 cup of water for every 20 minutes that you exercise.

ACOG lists these warning signs to stop exercising and contact a doctor: vaginal bleeding, fluid leaking from the vagina, decreased fetal movement, uterine contractions, muscle weakness, calf swelling or pain, headache, chest pain, increased shortness of breath, dizziness, or feeling faint.

One thing you need to be careful of is overheating your body while you are pregnant, especially during the first trimester when the risk of birth defects is greater. ACOG recommends that you be able to hold a conversation while you are exercising. If you are not able to do this, you are probably pushing yourself too hard.

A study done by BBC Health on Danish women, found that women who participated in strenuous exercise early in pregnancy increased their risk of miscarriage, and those who participated in more than seven hours a week during the early stages tripled their risk of miscarriage. However, after the 18 week mark there was no link between the two. More research needs to be done first, to determine if there really is a link between exercise and miscarriage.

Exercise should be part of your daily routine while you are pregnant. Not only will you feel good, but also you will look great. Your body will also thank you later, while in labor, and after as it recovers from the birth of your baby. If you have never exercised before, start slow and gradually increase your level of intensity to a level that is comfortable for both you and your doctor.

Tips from the Health Guru Don Tolman

Had a great evening recently being entertained and informed by that master of health Mr Don Tolman.
If you have never had the experience of an event with him – it is highly recommended. Click here for more information
He will keep you laughing while he demonstrates clearly the benefits of a whole food diet and what foods you can eat to help different organs and systems in your body. The signatures of foods he calls it.. just look at the shape of the food and see what organ it will help.. walnuts for brains anyone?!!
He tells us and I totally agree.. that there are seven major principles of health that if you follow them you will be living a healthy and whole life of joy!
So I am going to share them with you.. they are the same as the principles we teach daily at Best Health – universal knowledge with a timely reminder from Don Tolman.
1. Air.. clean air that moves.. the wind and the breeze create electrically charged air.. you feel so enlivened when you are immersed in the negative ions of electrical charge from the ocean breezes. If you sit in a stagnating still office, with no circulating air you will soon be sleepy and unproductive and a sleepy unproductive person is uninspired and unfulfilled.
2. Water – also has electrical charge, still stagnating water is less able to hydrate the body – so shake or move your water around before drinking and make sure you drink plenty.. the body is 70% water and the brain requires an even higher percentage.
3. Sunlight – we are so scared of the sun.. suddenly it is the ‘boogie man’ – I see people at the beach early in the morning covered up – hats – sunglasses – long sleeves – oh how sad to see them missing out on the beautiful early morning rays of the sun that gives our whole planet life.
4. Walking – our legs are there for a reason.. to walk to stride along – to take a ‘passiagata’ – an evening stroll – a constitutional – if you walk 45 minutes to one hour a day your body mind and spirit will sing!
5. Whole foods – foods that still look like they were just grown – not processed, packaged, dried, frozen, microwaved, added to, taken away from – generally destroyed! Eat them as close to the place of production as you can – find out where your local farmer’s market is and make sure you shop there. The produce at these places has been picked in the last few days and is fresh and nutritious. Supermarket produce has often been trucked across the country, stored in cold storage for months and otherwise generally mistreated.
6. Non-toxic relationships. If you are not happy in your home, if your family is constantly fighting or playing cold war – do something about it. This atmosphere either at home or at work is killing you. We often do work with people who are having this type of difficulty here at Best Health because it is such an important aspect to feeling good.
7. Passion – you need to dedicate some time every day of your life to something that you are apssionate about. Whatever that is.. it may be simply digging in your garden – but do it and then take a moment to feel gratitude. Gratitude will lift you out of the doldrums every time.
It is a gift you can give yourself on a daily basis.The local South Fremantle Farmers Market

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