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Good Exercises for Pregnant Women to Do For Overall Health and Wellness

written by: Cheryl Gabbert • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 4/28/2009

Exercise is an important part of staying healthy during pregnancy. There are plenty of good exercises for pregnant women to do that will enhance overall health and well-being. From pilates and yoga to swimming and walking, you're sure to find a great form of exercise here to get you started.

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    Exercise During Pregnancy

    Exercise during pregnancy is essential. It keeps your body in good shape, and prepares it for labor, delivery, and the work of a new mom. You'll avoid gaining too much weight, lower your risk of developing gestational diabetes, and sleep better. Pregnant women who exercise regularly have more energy for the demands of daily life. If you'd like to plan your own pregnancy fitness plan, check out this review of Babyfit.com, a website where pregnant women can learn about fitness and nutrition, and plan their own workout and healthy eating plan.

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    Walking

    Walking is great exercise for pregnant women. There is little risk of injury, and it's easy to take it slower, if needed. I'm a personal fan of outdoor walking. You get the added benefits of stress relieving, beautiful outdoor scenery, and on sunny days, you'll get a healthy dose of needed vitamin D. Pregnant walkers need to dress in comfortable clothing and good walking shoes. Be sure to walk in safe areas away from loose gravel, ice, or other surfaces that could cause a fall. Try to walk most days for at least 30 minutes at a comfortable speed.

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    Yoga

    Yoga poses are good exercises for pregnant women to do, since they promote flexibility and stronger muscles. Range of motion is positively affected by a good yoga routine. Stronger muscles and stress relief are added benefits to this type of pregnancy workout. Breathing exercises practiced in yoga will provide an extra surge of oxygen to your little one. Prenatal yoga classes or videos are a great way to pamper yourself body. Practice a gentle yoga routine with an instructor the first several times, so you can learn needed safety guidelines. If that's not a possibility, try a dvd especially for pregnant women that utilizes an instructor with experience in teaching pregnant moms.

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    Pilates

    Pilates is a gentle, yet effective form of exercise that focuses on strengthening the core muscles. For this reason, pilates is a great idea for pregnant women who want to get stronger core muscles. You'll also increase flexibility, making everyday tasks more comfortable. Pilates can help keep you free of those pregnancy aches and pains too. There are many gentle pilates dvds for pregnant women available. Try a pilates workout several times a week for best results.

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    Swimming

    Swimming is a great cardiovascular exercise for pregnant women. It's non-impact and overheating is never an issue. Pregnant women will love the anti-gravity feel of the water. Swimming tones the muscles and provides an awesome cardiovascular workout that's safe for most healthy pregnant women. If you're looking for cardio that's easy on the joints, you just might want to try swimming. In order to get cardiovascular benefits, you'll need to swim laps. Try swimming at least 20 minutes every other day for optimal benefits.

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    Resources

    1. Babyfit: www.babyfit.com

    2. Women's Fitness: http://www.womenfitness.net/yoga_during_preg1.htm

    3. Pregnancy-Calendars.net: http://www.pregnancy-calendars.net/swimming.aspx