How to make your prenatal workouts count

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Making Prenatal Workouts Count

Before you pack up your gym bag, know this: Keeping active throughout the day is every bit as beneficial for your body as visiting the gym. In fact, logging extra couch time may hinder the benefits of your exercise routine in the long run.

For a healthy pregnancy and a smoother delivery, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day. However, a preliminary study from Iowa State University finds that pregnant women may be undoing a good workout by remaining inactive for 75 percent of the day.

The findings, based on the study of 50 expectant moms, concluded that basic everyday activity is an essential element to overall health. Those who kept moving throughout the day – after completing a structured workout – were more fit than those who remained largely inactive after exercising. The short story? While it’s a smart move to hit the gym regularly, sitting on the couch afterward may render your workouts less effective. Get the most out of your sweat sessions, ward off extra weight gain and keep your blood flowing by supplementing your gym-time with extra activity throughout the day. Here’s how:

  • When there’s a choice between riding the elevator or taking the stairs, give yourself the extra time to climb by foot.
  • Park your car at the far end of the parking lot to ensure you take more steps on your way into the grocery store.
  • Get in the garden to pull weeds (just be sure to wear gloves while you do).
  • Pull out the leash and take Fido for a walk through your neighborhood.
  • Nesting? All of that laundry, scrubbing and vacuuming counts too.

What do you do for your prenatal workouts? Have you been keeping active throughout your pregnancy? What are some ways you’re sneaking in extra activity throughout the day? Share your experiences in the comments below!

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