As you enter what is normally the last two months of your pregnancy, exercise can help you cope as long as your health-care provider gives you the OK. Exercise during all stages of pregnancy can help lessen fatigue, improve sleep, ease constipation and back pain, and elevate your mood. Appropriate physical activity can improve the odds of having a healthy baby, ease labor and speed your recovery afterward.
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If you regularly exercise, you should be able to maintain your program throughout your pregnancy with some modifications, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Exercise does not increase the chances of miscarriage. However, it is important to listen to your body. Never exercise to the point of exhaustion, because your baby won't get the oxygen he needs. Avoid unstable ground when running or cycling, because your joints become more lax during pregnancy and injuries can occur more easily. Don't lift weights above your head or use heavy weights that might strain your lower back muscles. During the second and third trimesters, which includes the 28th week, avoid lying flat on your back, which decreases the flow of blood to the womb.
Third Trimester Concerns
The 28th week falls within the third trimester, when your baby's size and position may cause pain and discomfort. Your legs and feet may swell, making some exercises more difficult. Walking, swimming or riding a stationary bike may help, because such exercises increase circulation in your arms and legs. Fast walking might be a wiser idea that jogging or running, which are harder on your joints.
Yoga can be a beneficial form of exercise from the 28th week until the birth of your child. It focuses on breathing, relaxation, posture, body awareness, strength, endurance, alignment. Yoga can also alleviate aches and pains associated with the last trimester. Choose a yoga program specifically designed for pregnant women, because certain yoga positions must be avoided. At this stage of your pregnancy, pay attention to your heart rate. If you can't exercise and talk at the same time, your heart rate is too high and it's time to dial back the intensity of your workout.
The third trimester is not the time to be thinking about dieting. Eat healthy, but consume at least 300 extra calories per day to give your baby the nutrition he needs. Expect to gain 25 or more pounds during pregnancy. Try to exercise at least three times per week, but listen to your body and know when to quit. Be sure your doctor is aware of and approves of your exercise program during the third trimester.