So, you’ve just gotten married, you have your life all in order, you are managing your family and work, your home is all in order, and you are financially stable. The next logical step in the series is starting a family and having children. There are many aspects of planning to conceived, none more important than your health and the health of your future child. The best place to start in maximizing the chances for a successful and healthy pregnancy is in regular exercise. There are several exercises that will accommodate you and help to develop the bodily and emotional state to bring you into tip-top shape for conception. It is never recommended to over-exercise and care must be taken to not try too much, especially if you have not exercised regularly in quite some time. Remember to work yourself into a routine slowly. All the normal rules of exercise still apply, such as the warm-up and care of over-exertion. The goal of pre-conception exercise is not only about your body, but regular exercise in moderation also reduces stress and gives you a general over-all feeling of pleasantness and relaxation. The pre-conception exercises can lead to a smoother pregnancy and delivery, reduced weight gain and more rapid weight loss afterward, and less general discomfort throughout. The best exercises for women wishing to conceive a child are as follows:
1. Kegels. Also known as kegel crunches, this exercise is number one in that it strengthens the muscles that support your uterus, bladder, rectum, and urethra. Also, this exercise can be done from anywhere. If you are unfamiliar with this exercise, it simply consists of contracting the muscles in your pelvic region, drawing them inward and tight, then immediately releasing. Start out with sets of 10, repeated 5 times daily.
2. Walking. This is the best known exercise for any situation, so pre-conception is no different. It will keep you generally physically fit and with a stronger heart and cardiovascular system. Start off with one mile and increase it in ½ mile increments every week, 4-5 miles max is just fine.
3. Cycling. The bicycle has long been considered a top all-around exercise right up there with walking. It is easy on the body, increases cardiovascular health and strengthens many muscles throughout the body. Stationary and moving bicycles are equivalent in their effectiveness, so if you are limited to indoor activity, cycling will still work for you.
4. Swimming. Water activity provides a terrific, low-impact workout that strengthens the entire body. Swimming and water exercises can safely be continued throughout the pregnancy as well.
5. Stair-climbing. Either real stairs or with a simulation machine, this exercise is great for maintaining a high heart rate for cardiovascular health. The stair-climbing machine is recommended because there is less of a chance of falling.
6. Yoga. Yoga is a great way not only to strengthen any and every muscle in your body, but to provide relaxation and mind/body coordination. The best for pregnancy is that the breathing exercises in yoga adapt easily to and will help with your actual labor.
7. Aerobics. If you already do aerobics, great, you can continue. However, you should consult your doctor or aerobics instructor for information about specialized aerobics for pregnancy. Low-impact is always best, because you want to stay fit without any chances of injury or danger.
8. Dance. Dancing is great form of exercise in many situations as long you don’t do any spinning, sharp turns, or excessive footwork. Casual dance of many sorts will help in your pregnancy and its fun to do also.
These 8 exercises will help you get your body into shape for a planned pregnancy and help you maintain your health for the difficulties that pregnancy can cause. Always consult your physician when you discover that your conception has been successful for advice on how to continue.