Heart Healthy Exercises For Pregnancy
February 2, 2018
Your heart plays a major role in your well-being and your baby’s too. If you’ve never been heart-health conscious, today is the day to make a change! Now an excellent time to jump-start new habits to improve the health of you and your baby.
Pregnant women should aim for 2.5 hours of low-impact exercise weekly, which equals 30 minutes, five days a week.1 Low impact activities are generally recommended during pregnancy and include but are not limited to walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga. No matter which activity you choose, work to get your heart rate up and to keep your heart and body strong during and after pregnancy.
In addition to cardio activities, try to find time for strength training, which will help build or maintain muscles you’ll need for the lifting and toting that lie ahead. Be sure to stick to relatively low weight. Below are a few resources for heart-healthy exercises that expecting moms can do in the comfort of their homes. Be sure to check with your doctor before you begin any new exercise regimen, and remember to stay hydrated while exercising.
American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women
- Andia Winslow Kitchen Workout Video
- Michelle Williams Lunge Workout Video
- Yoga Moves to Improve Health
Heart-Healthy Habits for Pregnancy
In addition to exercise, diet and mental well-being affect your overall heart health during pregnancy. Limiting stress is the first step in improving mental well-being. Identify stressors in your life and positive ways to deal with those stressors.
There should be no smoking or alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Both cigarettes and alcohol restrict blood vessels, which prevents them from performing at their optimal abilities. Cutting both of these out from day one, as well as getting a grip on stress, will help ensure that you maintain a lower blood pressure throughout pregnancy.
As for diet, pregnancy does require a slight increase in caloric intake, but most basic nutritional guidelines for women still apply. Pregnant women who want to improve their heart health should take extra care to increase the fiber and omega-3 fatty acids in their diets and to decrease sodium intake.2-4
Pregnant women should take a daily prenatal vitamin to help ensure they are meeting nutritional recommendations. The Prenate® Vitamin Family has several prenatal vitamins with iron and DHA that may help cover nutritional gaps and may support heart health during pregnancy.3 Talk to your doctor to see if a Prenate® vitamin is right for you.
Pregnancy is a time to focus on you. Give your body the tools it needs to prosper. Focus on what you’re putting in your mouth and make sure it is nourishing for you and the baby who’s growing inside of you. A healthy heart is helpful for your body and the baby, so start taking good care of your heart today!