Exercise Good Judgment When it Comes to FitnessFor Expectant Moms
Fitness during pregnancy is important to both mother and child. The increased oxygen you take in during exercise nourishes your fetus and helps you stay healthy as well.
Of course, if you led an inactive lifestyle prior to becoming pregnant, it's not a good idea to launch into a vigorous new fitness program. But your doctor can recommend certain exercises to help you stay healthy.
If you started a fitness program prior to pregnancy, you can probably continue in the early months of pregnancy as long as you don't increase the level of activity beyond what you're used to doing. Your doctor can help you set appropriate limits.
And finally, you should reduce your activity by the fifth month. Extra weight, slower breathing and a change in your center of gravity can have an effect on your ability to exercise safely. Beyond the sixth month, limit exercise to only what is prescribed by your doctor.
New studies confirm that even the most stressed-out among us can benefit from exercise because it provides valuable "time out" from our worries. One recent study showed that college women who pedaled an exercise bike at low intensity for 20 minutes without distraction experienced a dramatic decrease in anxiety over those who combined the same type of exercise with studying.
It's never too late to start exercising. Another new study shows that men and women who started out as couch potatoes and then became more active as they approached middle age reduced their risks for a wide variety of chronic diseases.
On the other hand, the reverse is true for people who start out active and then reduce their exercise level as they get older. So if you don't exercise at all, start now. And if you're already active, stay that way!Return to LEARN MORE