1st Trimester Pregnancy Exercises
Exercising during the first trimester of pregnancy is important to help combat fatigue and improve overall well-being. Developing an exercise routine helps a pregnant woman’s body adjust to the growing fetus.
Remember to stick with exercises that are low impact, and do not overdo them. Low-impact exercises do not strain the body, but they do get the heart rate up. While exercising, watch that your heart rate does not exceed 160 beats per minute.
Walking is a low-impact exercise that helps build and tone the muscles in your legs and pelvic area. Building these muscles can make it easier to give birth when you go into labor. Remember to start out slow and stretch the body before walking.
Set goals that are realistic and walk during times when it is not so warm that you run the risk of overheating. Walking for 20 minutes a day, four times a week will help you stay in shape as the pregnancy develops.
Swimming during the first trimester helps tone all the muscles in the body. Swimming also provides a cardiovascular workout that doesn’t put strain on your body during pregnancy, and it won’t cause you to overheat. Cardiovascular exercise helps to oxygenate blood that is then carried to the fetus. If possible, swim for 20 minutes, three times a week. Avoid scuba diving, however, as it causes pressure changes within the body that can be harmful to a growing fetus.
A stationary bike offers support for the body and is safer than riding a bike because there is less chance you will fall and injure the fetus. Exercising on a stationary bike tones and tightens muscles in the thighs, buttocks and pelvic area.
These muscles are important because they help support the weight of the baby; during labor, fit muscles in these areas also ease the process of pushing the baby down the birth canal. Ride a stationary bike 20 minutes, at least three days a week.
Performing Kegel exercises helps strengthen the floor of the pelvic muscles. To tighten the pelvic muscles, pretend that you are stopping the flow of urine and hold the vaginal muscles for 10 seconds and release.
Kegel exercises can be done throughout the day. Beginning Kegel exercises in the first trimester will help prepare the pelvic muscles for the stress of delivering a baby.
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