During the course of your pregnancy, you might find yourself wanting to hop on the elliptical but feeling uncertain about how safe it is for your baby. Exercise during pregnancy can be done safely to help prevent excessive weight gain, prepare your body for labor and continue building your cardiovascular endurance; however, you should consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program during your pregnancy. The elliptical is a beneficial option for pregnant women because you have the ability to control the resistance, speed and length of your workout.
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The elliptical trainer is designed to promote cardiovascular exercise and provides the user with a very low-impact aerobic workout. Low-impact exercises, such as elliptical workouts, are ideal because they don't contain any bouncing or jarring movements that can be dangerous during pregnancy. To use an elliptical trainer, you stand with your feet on large pedals and hold onto handlebars. Depending on the type of elliptical trainer, the handlebars may or may not move as you move your feet. This can help to tone your arms as you tone your legs and improve your cardiovascular endurance.
Using an elliptical trainer during your pregnancy can not only improve your fitness, but also benefits your baby and your pregnancy. Exercising during your pregnancy can help to alleviate back pain, prevent excessive weight gain, increase your energy level, reduce your risk of pregnancy-related health problems and increase your stamina in preparation for labor.
Get your doctor’s approval before beginning an exercise program during pregnancy. Your doctor can provide clear guidelines and warnings about how exercise will affect your baby and your body. Your doctor will be able to tell you about specific concerns he has for you, based on your health history.
Whether you exercised before your pregnancy or not, it is important that you start slowly. Your body has new demands and is carrying extra weight. Perform a five-minute warmup and cool-down each time you use the elliptical. Use this time to move slowly, to stretch your muscles and to relax your body. Start with 10 to 15 minutes per session and gradually build on your time until you reach 30 minutes. According to the American Pregnancy Association, you should take frequent breaks and drink fluids throughout exercise.
As you exercise, keep track of your heart rate and your internal temperature. Even if you are not sweating or feeling overexerted, your internal temperature can increase during activity and be harmful for your baby. According to Pregnancy.org, stop exercising if your heart rate goes over 140 beats per minute or if your temperature is above 100 degrees F. Pregnancy.org recommends using a rectal thermometer to check your temperature every 20 minutes during exercise.