Monday, October 5, 2009

Exercise during pregnancy

Program The intense fatigue in the first trimester of pregnancy makes beginning an exercise program at that point much more difficult than it is before. For this reason the optimal time to start an exercise program is right now. If you are obese or are diabetic, consult your care provider before you begin exercising. The ideal exercise program includes an aerobic activity, some strength training and flexibility exercises. All three together build great overall health.

Aerobic activities

Exercise such as walking, swimming and cycling improves the efficiency of your lungs, heart and circulatory system. It also helps enhance your emotional well being and promotes more restful sleep.

To be effective, aerobic exercise has to last at least 30 minutes and raise your heart rate adequately. The easiest way to know that you have reached your optimal heart rate is to keep track of how out

of breath you are during your activity. If you still can just maintain a conversation with an exercise partner through out your activity you are exercising at the correct intensity for your body. You can also use a heart rate monitor to check your heart rate.

Strength training

Activities such as weight training and pilates build muscle strength. Abdominal muscle strength helps protect you from back pain during pregnancy, as well as for the rest of your life.


Stretching prevents injuries by relaxing your muscles and increasing your range of motion. It also decreases soreness and contributes to your sense of well being by promoting deep breathing, relaxation and good blood flow. Yoga and dance moves are both good for flexibility.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is an important nutrient around the time of conception. Although it is found naturally in several foods, it is recommended that women take a supplement to make sure they have an adequate in take of this important vitamin. Folic acid decreases the risk of neural tube birth defects by as much as 70 percent. Neural tube defects, which affect the brain and spinal cord occur during the first 28 days after conception before most women realize they are pregnant. Follow this advice.

Ideally you should start taking folic acid supplements at least 3 months before you conceive.

The recommended in take is 0.4mg (400mcg) every day. This amount is contained in all prenatal supplements

Aim also to include two portions of fruit and vegetables that are rich in foliate, such as papaya, oranges, strawberries, and collard greens. Most breads, grains and breakfast cereals are also enriched with folic acid.

Can You Exercise Too Much

Moderate exercise will not decrease your chances of conceiving or put you at risk for miscarriage. However competitive women athletes tend to ovulate irregularly or not at all. There fore, if you exercise at a very high intensity and for several hours a day, you may want to pay special attention to assessing your ovulation each month. If you are ovulating normally, athletic training will not lower your chances of conceiving.

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