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Recommended Exercises for Pregnant Women

January 14th, 2014 3:16 am

There are many choices of exercises pregnant women are able to do. Even though exercising pregnant has certain precautions you should follow, the amount of exercises to choose from are still plentiful. Here are the 7 best exercises pregnant women should have in their workout routine:


Pregnancy yoga helps to maintain muscle tone and flexibility and improve your posture. It’s kinder to your joints than more vigorous types of exercise. However, you should also do some aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, a few times a week, to give your heart a workout.

Stretching helps to keep you supple, though don’t overdo it. Think about gently opening and extending your body, rather than pushing yourself. Your yoga teacher will show you how to relax your body and mind.

Make sure that your yoga teacher is experienced in providing advice for pregnant women. It’s best to go along to a pregnancy yoga class, rather than start with a DVD.


Walking is very beneficial because it is safe for your body. It is easier on your knees than running and can be easily worked into your schedule. Start slowly and be sure you stretch well before you begin. Set realistic goals and wear good shoes to decrease the risk of falling or pressure on your feet.


Running is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to work your heart and body, and you can vary the distance as your energy levels allow. However, if running is new to you, pregnancy is probably not the time to start. It’s best to stick to more gentle exercise, such as walking or swimming.


Many health care providers and fitness professionals say swimming is the safest exercise for pregnant women. Swimming keeps your body toned without adding weight and stress to your joints. When swimming you are raising your heart rate and enjoying a safe cardiovascular exercise that is not likely to cause overheating.

Another benefit of swimming during pregnancy comes from the safety of not falling. During pregnancy your balance will be off and this make you more susceptible to tripping or falling. Swimming cancels that risk (at least while you are in the pool). Although swimming is a water sport, you should avoid scuba diving or water skiing.


Pilates exercises strengthen your tummy and pelvic floor muscles, a part of your body known as the stable core.

Your pilates teacher will guide you on your posture, making you aware of how you hold your body. She’ll take you through a series of positions and movements that will strengthen your core muscles. You’ll learn how to time your breathing with the exercises, and how to relax.

Pilates targets the muscles that can weaken during pregnancy, in a way that supports, rather than strains, them. Choose an antenatal pilates class, if there’s one in your area.


Generally speaking, you can carry on with a dance class if you did it regularly before you were pregnant. Or you can get your heart pumping by dancing to your favourite tunes in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

Try not to leap, jump, twirl or change direction suddenly, as you may lose your balance. If you join an antenatal dance class, you can lose yourself in music, while keeping fit under the instruction of a qualified teacher, who can adapt the moves to your stage of pregnancy.

Pelvic floor exercises

Last but not least, exercise your pelvic floor! If you have weak pelvic floor muscles, you may leak small amounts of wee when you exercise, cough or sneeze (stress incontinence). You can prevent this from happening by doing pelvic floor exercises every day.

Exercise Tips for Seniors

October 3rd, 2013 3:54 am

Having a fit and healthy body is important for people of all age groups, especially seniors. The best way to keep fit and have a healthy body is to exercise. However, elderly people often find the idea of exercising regularly daunting because they are sceptical about the exercise routine suiting them, they worry about whether they will be able to manage it and perform all the exercises without hurting themselves.

For general health benefits, seniors need about 2½ hours of aerobic (walking, running, and other activities that get the heart pumping faster) activity per week, combined with muscle-strengthening activities at least two days per week.

Joining a gym and making use of the machines, trainers, and classes is one way to exercise. But you can also have fun there, meet new people, and do a variety of different activities that keep you healthy and strong.

Exercise actually comes in many forms, including activities that feel more like fun than hard work:

– Dance. Sign up for a dance class with your spouse or a friend or carve out some dance time at home.

– Go bowling. Join a bowling league or make a weekly date with some of your friends. If you have grandchildren, bring them along.

– Rediscover a favorite sport. Whether you love the elegance of golf or the challenge of tennis, make time for these leisure activities. If possible, vary your activities over the course of each week to work different muscle groups.

– Enjoy the great outdoors. When the weather cooperates, ride your bike, visit a local park for a hike, or simply go for a walk. These are all great exercises that get you outside and into the fresh air.

– Swim. Swimming is an excellent exercise choice, particularly if you have arthritis joint pain. Join a local fitness center with a pool and work in regular swims to meet your cardiovascular needs without straining your joints.

To help prevent falls, you also want to practice exercises that improve your balance. Yoga and tai chi fit the bill-and they will also help you manage stress, feel more relaxed, and improve muscle tone. Yoga or tai chi classes are widely available in many areas, from senior centers to the Y.

Taking some time to stretch every day can also help keep your joints flexible and keep you moving well. It’s also important to lift some light weights-canned goods from your cupboard are a fine substitute-or use a resistance band to tone your muscles.

Work out while you work

Add a little “elbow grease” when doing chores and these regular activities will count as a workout:

– Cleaning the house
– Raking leaves in the yard
– Gardening
– Mowing the lawn
– Sweeping and dusting

Remember that getting older doesn’t mean slowing down. You’ve got to keep moving to stay young at heart… as well as in mind, body, and spirit.