Baby 101: Exercising During Pregnancy

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Pregnancy may seem like the perfect time to sit back and relax. You may feel more tired than usual your back may ache and your ankles may be swollen. But there's more to pregnancy and exercise than skipping it entirely. It can be a great time to get active - even if you haven't exercised in a while.

Everyone knows that an exercise routine is often a great gateway to good health. That well-known rule doesn't change with pregnancy.

Nicole Goerge is a trainer at ACAC and prenatal exercise is one of her specialties. She says even after they get a doctor's OK many moms-to-be still have concerns about being active while pregnant.

"I think they're a little concerned, obviously they're in charge of this baby, and they're not really sure what to do," she stated.

But exercise pros like her are there to pave the way to prenatal health.

"My big thing is, is to get you ready for that birth, and try to make it as relaxed, and I mean it's stamina time. It might be a birth that only lasts three hours, it might be one that lasts a day or so, so really getting used to, getting strong enough to have a positive experience," she said.

Charlottesville yoga studio, Bend, also caters to moms-to-be.

Bend co-owner Kelly Cox stated, "I think pregnancy just it takes a toll on the body, it's a lot of work. So going into it as fit as you can, but also really trying to maintain that level of fitness, not only helps establish great habits for babe, but it can help moms feel better."

Cox says the experience isn't always all about exercise it's also an important a chance to make connections.

"It's really nice I think for moms, who have especially never done this before, just to have someone to talk to and ask questions, and just to have someone say, oh. I'm struggling with that issue too. So we believe a lot in community. We try to offer as much support for moms as we can," she stated.

Bottom line, exercise goes hand in hand with a healthy pregnancy. It's an investment of time and sometimes money that experts say is well worth it. But on a busy day getting to the gym or hitting the yoga mat may be difficult.

Goerge says improvise: "Get a stable chair, something that's not going to rock or have wheels on it. And just do sit to stand. And you know you can add arm movement to it to make it more dynamic, working those shoulders, any of those things."

Before you begin an exercise program make sure you have your health care provider's OK. Although exercise during pregnancy is generally good for both mother and baby you'll need to proceed with caution if you have a history of certain medical conditions.