Women are always wondering what good exercise routines they can get into while they are pregnant. Maintaining a regular exercise routine improves overall health, but during pregnancy it can help prevent gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy), relieve stress, and build more stamina needed for labor and delivery.
But what exercises are safe for pregnant women? Most forms of physical activity are safe as long as they provide little risk of serious injury to the abdominal region, and are performed with caution and are not overdone.
Yoga can be one of the best forms of exercise for those expecting. The low-impact nature of yoga is highly recommended, and can provide pregnant women with additional benefits during their pregnancy.
Reduce unwanted pregnancy pains. Yoga movements elongate the pelvis and reproductive organs, possible generating a smoother pregnancy and possibly alleviating pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue and mood swings. Integration movements and breathing in yoga may also reduce swelling in the legs and decrease pain in the waist, back and various joints. Prenatal yoga can also facilitate the movement of the digestive and circulatory systems of the body.
Improved fetus health. In addition to benefits to the expecting mother, yoga during pregnancy can be beneficial to the developing fetus. Breathing techniques during yoga increase oxygen to the entire body, allowing more oxygen in the blood to the fetus. Prenatal yoga movements teach the muscles of the uterus to support the space for the fetus in the womb, allowing the fetus to have maximum movement capability. Yoga also assists in relaxing the mother-to-be, which is a beneficial state for the fetus.
Preparation for labor and delivery. Controlled respiration, brought along by prenatal yoga breathing exercises, can release hormones that cleanse the body of toxins. In addition, mastering breathing techniques can train the mind to release stress, anxiety and anger. This can make the mother-to-be more relaxed and ready for childbirth. Physically, yoga can prepare the pelvic floor muscles to become stronger and more elastic, thereby helping with the physicality of labor and delivery.
Quicker recovery after birth. Consistent practice of prenatal yoga may reduce stretch marks and facilitate the new mommy to get back into shape quicker after the baby is born. Regular yoga sessions during pregnancy can help the body remain leaner and keep muscles toned, as well as improve or maintain balance and circulation with little or no impact on joints. Consult your Healthy Woman OB/GYN doctor before beginning an exercise routine after birth.
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