Pregnancy exercise is one of the key factors in a healthy pregnancy for both mom and baby. It is extremely important, however, to know which types of pregnancy exercises are most appropriate throughout the three stages of gestation.
Pre pregnancy exercise falls into two main categories. Those are: 1) Women who have not been following an exercise program. 2) Women who have been exercising.
For women who have not been exercising, but want to start before their pregnancy, the same approach that would be suggested for any person is what should be followed. Assess the starting point with a fitness evaluation, get clearance for pre pregnancy exercise from the doctor, and stick to a well rounded program of aerobic exercise, flexibility conditioning and resistance training (this does not have to be with weights and machines).
The ideal pregnancy exercise program should consist mostly of body weight exercises that require nothing more than a floor mat, an exercise ball and a ten - twelve inch step. That's it.
For ‘moms to be’ who have been working out - they are already on a pre pregnancy exercise program. The key factor here is to know when and how to make adjustments in the ‘during pregnancy exercise’ phase to ensure that mom and baby are not being put at risk in any way and are getting all the benefits that come with the proper pregnancy exercises. Communication between you and your doctor through each stage of pregnancy is important and encouraged in order to be sure that your workout is appropriate for you and the baby.
For ‘during pregnancy exercise', a woman who has not been exercising, but wants to start after she has found out she is pregnant, should be able to start a gentle and conservative pregnancy exercise program under the proper guidance of her doctor. Logic and common sense will prevail here as you will not have to run out and get a health club membership. An up to date doctor should be able to provide you with enough printed material to structure a home pregnancy exercise routine that will keep you and baby safe and give you something to build on after the baby has arrived.
The single most important factor to post pregnancy exercise success is whether or not mom was following a pre and/or during pregnancy exercise program. Yes, there are women who rebound quickly and easily with no exercise at all, but if you want to tip the scales in your favor (no pun intended) and set a perfect example for your new baby - a well rounded, post pregnancy exercise program is one of the best habits to incorporate in to your new lifestyle.
An important note here is that you can structure an effective and safe post pregnancy exercise program to be done at home while baby is napping. There is no need to feel like you have to stop exercising because you can't get to the gym with your new baby to care for. And you do not have to workout for sixty minutes straight. For example, you can do twenty minutes of body-weight floor exercises in the morning, put the baby in the stroller and get out for a 30 minute power walk in the midday, and then do a twenty minute stretching routine when daddy gets home to relieve you.
That is just a simple example - and depending on your schedule and specific situation you can customize your post pregnancy exercise program to suit your needs and goals. The pregnancy exercises you choose can incorporate some weight training and maybe some machines, but the ones that are most suited to the lifestyle and goals of a new mom are based on fitness programs that can be done literally anytime and anywhere. These are programs that primarily consist of body-weight post pregnancy exercises along with the use of some portable fitness tools, such as a mat, exercise ball and some resistance bands.
Most experts say, “You are exercising for two, during pregnancy. " - but the reality is, you are exercising for two (sometimes more) even after you give birth because the example you set for your new child is a priceless influence that cannot be taught any other way.
Joey Atlas, Exercise Physiologist, offers more pregnancy fitness advice and resources at Healthy Pregnancy Fitness .
Also visit Stretches & Stretching Exercises for Flexibility tips.