An Alternative to Treadmills: Riding an Elliptical During Pregnancy

There are many reasons why you want to workout on an elliptical during pregnancy, aside from the desire to avoid postpartum weight gain. Keeping active also offers benefits for your baby as well as making things go easier during labor.

But why choose the elliptical over other cardio equipment? For the same reason you choose the trainer over treadmills and bikes even when you aren’t pregnant – to minimize stress on the back, knees, and joints, to get an exceptional cardio workout for the lungs and heart, as well as riding it for effective weight loss, variety, and fun.

Short and Long Term Effects of Exercise

Studies show that the results of exercise in general, and specifically doing the elliptical during pregnancy can be impressive. No doubt you are aware of the fact that pregnant women who exercise usually gain less weight than expectant moms who are not active.

There are a number of other benefits provided by regular exercise that you may not be aware of which include:

Elliptical Exercise During Pregnancy

  • Uncomplicated and shorter deliveries for up to 30% more moms
  • Less need for pain relief reported in up to 35% of deliveries
  • Three out of four deliveries not requiring surgery intervention
  • Reduces risk of preeclampsia by 35%

Get the Baby-On-Board Benefits

Your unborn child also benefits from having a healthy and fit mother. Studies show that pregnant moms who exercise provide a number of positives on the baby in the womb including:

  • Increased blood volume, and less body fat
  • Possible accelerated brain development
  • Tolerate birthing process better

Your baby will also have the advantage of having a new mommy who recovers physically and emotionally twice as fast as sedentary new moms. Studies show three out of four fit moms are back to their pre-pregnant weight within a year if they follow an exercise schedule.

Third Trimester Cautions

As tired and uncomfortable as you will be in your third trimester, your symptoms can be alleviated somewhat by doing light elliptical workouts, but do take a few precautions:

During the workout, you may need to wear two sports bras, and a belly band is a good idea too. The most important point though, is that you must not overheat when riding an elliptical during pregnancy because your inner core temperature can rise excessively during exercise, in fact, exceeding 101° F.

This temperature is also affecting your unborn who has no ability to regulate his/her own body temp yet. It is recommended you use a rectal thermometer about every 20 minutes to check your temperature, and quit if you feel dizzy, tired, or start to get dehydrated.

As long as you don’t risk delivering an early baby, your doctor will likely give you the okay to pedal an elliptical during pregnancy, even in your third term.

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