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Chelsea at Crunch Gym

Forty Weeks of Fitness!

Chelsea, our pregnancy fitness expert, is a certified personal trainer at Crunch gym in San Francisco, California. She gave birth to her daughter, Madeira Re, in July 2006. Read more

Stretches for Lower Back

Along with these stretches, moderate exercise is another way to alleviate lower back pain and sciatica. It's important to review your exercise plan with your doctor or midwife before you begin. Pregnancy isn't the time to try to lose weight or begin a vigorous exercise routine but you can pursue an exercise regimen at a mild to moderate level and receive tremendous benefits from it. For beginners, exercise three days a week, preferably with a day between workouts, for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

The safest and most comfortable exercises for expectant mothers are:

  • Walking it's easy and everyone can do it and it's the perfect way to get started if you didn't exercise before pregnancy
  • Low impact aerobic classes or pregnancy exercise videotapes done at home
  • Swimming; it uses many different muscle groups and puts less gravitational strain on the joints (the water supports your weight, which is a welcomed relief for those who are beginning to feel like Shamu)

Remember, the key to exercising during pregnancy is moderation. Don't go for the burn and don't exercise to exhaustion. A good rule of thumb is to slow down if you can't comfortably carry on a conversation while moving.

Unless you have a medical condition which restricts exercise, mild to moderate exercise is very safe during pregnancy. It's good for you as long as you don't overdo it and heed your body's warning signs such as:

  • Intense pain anywhere, but especially your back or pelvic region
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling faint
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Difficulty walking
  • Contractions
  • Marked decrease in movement of the baby

If you develop any of the above symptoms during or after exercising, stop immediately and call your doctor or midwife.

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