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  Pregnancy Fitness Plan

Five Rules of Exercise During Pregnancy

Exercise during pregnancy is important because it helps you to avoid excess weight gain and to maintain your strength and stamina.  The right exercises can also help you prepare for the birth and delivery process.  But when it comes to exercising during pregnancy, you have to make your choices carefully.  The following are five rules you should follow when it comes to exercising during pregnancy.

Medical clearance

It’s a general rule, said time and time again, but it’s doubly true during pregnancy – begin no exercise program without talking to your doctor first.  Only your doctor can tell you if there are exercises you should modify or avoid entirely.  They’ll know how any medical conditions you have can be impacted either positively or negatively by an exercise program.  Don’t think that just because you’re early in your pregnancy that an exercise program will have no clinical effect.  There’s really no time during the course of a pregnancy that the input of a medical professional isn’t valuable – perhaps even critical.

Get help

Given the proliferation and interest in exercise programs, itís now easy to find a professional who can help you with your exercise program during pregnancy. These arenít just people who have been blessed with natural physical fitness that will serve as cheerleaders for your program. A professional personal trainer or exercise coach will understand the different kinds of exercises and levels of intensity that are appropriate for pregnant women, as well as how to tailor the range of motion to accommodate your changing body. They can help you design an exercise plan that will give you exactly what you need for a fit and healthy body, and they can cheer you along as well.

You don't have to spend money

Every one of us has different economic realities to face every day, but these don't have to prevent you from having a coach and an exercise program that will benefit you and your baby. You can hire a personal trainer that will charge you $1,000 a month if you have the financial resources, but there are also professionals at your local YMCA that can help you who will charge you either nothing or only a nominal fee. There may be free or low cost classes through your local public library or hospital.

All professionals have different rates they charge, so itís OK to ask and shop around Ė you donít necessarily need to commit to the first professional you meet. Your doctor can also help you find an affordable exercise program. If money is exceptionally tight, you can still get all the aerobic exercise you need by walking and performing exercises targeted specifically to pregnancy by reading books on pregnancy fitness or checking out a DVD on pregnancy fitness from your local library.

Use books and websites with caution

Because thereís no single group overseeing and credentialing exercise programs, thereís a lot of information available thatís frustrating at best and dangerous at worst. Pregnancy raises the stakes when it comes to exercise. You canít risk your health or your baby's health by following the advice of someone who will lead you astray. Again, check with your doctor and your exercise coach to verify the appropriateness of any plan youíre considering.

Be sensible

There will come a point in your exercise plan when the demands of your growing baby are going to take precedence over sticking to your fitness plan. You may need to modify your plan or you may need to limit your exercise as your pregnancy progresses. Listen to what your body needs and respect its demands. Use sensible precautions at all times. For example, donít allow yourself to get overheated and donít lie on your back during exercise Ė both are dangerous during pregnancy.

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