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What are Prenatal Fitness Classes?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 27 January 2019
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Prenatal fitness classes can refer to a variety of classes for pregnant women that emphasize staying fit during pregnancy. People can obtain exercise classes on video and do some of these fitness routines at home, or they can participate in community-based courses that might take place at city recreation centers, gyms, or other locations. Many doctors believe that participating in fitness programs is a great idea, provided they are constructed on sound principals that take into account the pregnant body and the extra demands being pregnant may place on the body.

There are many different types of prenatal fitness classes. Some emphasize a reduced cardio workout and perhaps stretches or work with weights that are adapted to pregnant women. A few of these classes make claims that they’ll help women more easily regain their pre-pregnancy shape because they continue to work the muscle groups most known for deteriorating when pregnant women don’t exercise.

Other forms of prenatal fitness classes are geared more toward relaxation and stretching. A number of studios have pregnancy yoga, which can be a good way to keep muscles toned and stretched. There could be other movement-oriented classes, where emphasis is simply to stay connected with the body and muscle movement.

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For any of these prenatal fitness classes to be successful, they must take into account the changing demands of the pregnant woman’s body. Yoga classes will avoid some stretches and twists that might stretch the stomach in any dangerous way. An aerobics class instructor would ensure that pregnant women work at an appropriate heart rate level. Any workout program that involves things like balance would need to be carefully designed so there is extra support available. People interested in a course should investigate the safety issues regarding it, or check with a doctor to make certain it is a good health choice.

Another factor is that most fitness classes are designed for a group of people rather than the individual. A group of pregnant people isn’t always the same and each woman may have different physical needs or health issues as pregnancy continues. In addition to listening to what a doctor has to say about the quality of prenatal fitness classes, women are advised to listen to their own bodies and not to push too hard during this time of great physical and emotional change.

For those who enjoyed classes while pregnant, and for those who didn’t get to take them, there are also a variety of postnatal pregnancy courses that can help new moms attain pre-pregnancy fitness levels. Many of these incorporate a greater amount of aerobic exercise, and many women love them. Not only can they increase fitness, but they are terrific for burning stress, which is too easy to find when parenting a new baby.

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