There is often a misconception that exercising while pregnant can harm you or your baby. But according to Babycenter, it usually is good for you and the baby to exercise when you are pregnant. The College of Family Physicians of Canada found fewer birth complications in women who exercised during pregnancy. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, exercise can reduce the risk of early-term births by 40 percent. Consult your doctor before starting any exercise routine.
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Recumbent Exercise Bike
A recumbent exercise bike can be a good choice during pregnancy because of its back support and lounge seating. A recumbent bike has pedals toward the front end, and a seat with back support toward the back end; when you exercise, your legs are stretched out and your back is supported. You still get the benefits of exercise, including moving your body and increasing your metabolic rate.
The elliptical is another option because it is a low-impact machine, so that you are not pounding your body against a hard surface. Instead, you move in a fluid motion, which reduces the risk of pain and injury to your joints. The elliptical is also a full-body workout if it has adjustable hand rails that enable your arms to move while your feet are on the pedals.
Pregnant women should use a treadmill with caution. Try walking on an uphill setting for a workout that not only spikes your metabolism, but also builds strength. It is important to use the hand rails as support because it can be difficult for you to keep your balance while the treadmill is in motion.
Pregnant women also should use the stair climber with caution. One way to ensure your safety is to use the machine on a slow setting and use the support of the hand rails. You will still get a complete workout that builds muscle in the lower body.
Avoid High Impact Exercises
Whether you're running on a treadmill or pounding the pavement, high impact exercises are not recommended during pregnancy. The hopping, jumping and bouncing, extra oxygen use and raise in core temperatures involved in high impact exercises may affect the developing baby. In addition, your center of gravity shifts as your baby grows and you may lose your balance and fall during vigorous aerobic routines.