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Chelsea at Crunch Gym

Forty Weeks of Fitness!

Chelsea, our pregnancy fitness expert, is a certified personal trainer at Crunch gym in San Francisco, California. She gave birth to her daughter, Madeira Re, in July 2006. Read more

Benefits of Prenatal Exercise

A carefully designed exercise program can benefit you and your baby, keeping you healthier and more comfortable during your pregnancy and possibly easing and hastening your labor and delivery.

As with any physical activity, it’s very important to check with your health care provider for any potential limitations of your exercise. The following are some exercise suggestions for you to consider:

  1. Stretching exercises can be done on a daily basis approximately five to 10 repetitions. Hold each position or stretch for 20-30 seconds. Be careful to not overstretch yourself since your joints will be a bit looser during pregnancy.

  2. Low or non-impact aerobic activity performed approximately three times a week, with an appropriate warm-up and cool-down, can be beneficial. Remember to not exercise beyond the point of moderately heavy perspiration. Sustain aerobic activity for 15-20 minutes as long as you are able to talk comfortably and are not short of breath. Walking, swimming, and cycling are safe and effective forms of exercise.

Some benefits of prenatal exercise include:

  • Enhanced circulation and flexibility

  • Increased energy, strength, stamina, fitness and muscle control

  • Reduced discomfort of water retention, tension, stress, depression, and excessive weight gain

  • Minimized stretch-marks, varicose veins, and abdominal separation

  • Minimized postpartum depression

  • Increased relaxation

  • Improved calcium absorption

Some things to avoid during prenatal exercise:

  • Rigorous bouncing

  • Arching your back

  • Poor posture

  • Dehydration

  • Strain

  • Lying on your back after the 20th week

Keep in mind that exercise is meant to enhance your pregnancy, not to cause added risks. Moderate exercise can bring you great rewards both during and after your pregnancy.

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