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Exercise during pregnancy reaps a lot of benefits as it helps keep you active and prepares the body for childbirth. These days there are lots of options for pregnant women such as prenatal yoga and Pilates. But if you were into aerobics or dance workouts before pregnancy then Zumba fitness can be a good option for you.
Zumba is a dance fitness program that uses music and movements inspired from various styles of Latin and international rhythms. The inclusion of a variety of rhythms and styles in a Zumba class brings in the feeling of a party. It’s fun, dynamic, and proves to be an effective workout as it incorporates different principles of aerobic, intermittent, and resistance training. This combination helps maximize caloric output, cardiovascular endurance and total body toning.
But how can Zumba help pregnant women?
During pregnancy, Zumba can be a good way of working out as it serves to improve endorphin levels in the body. Endorphins are natural painkillers, so an increase in the level of endorphins can help a woman prepare better for natural childbirth. It can also help to smoothen the process of labor.
Zumba can also keep excessive weight gain in check as it combines principles of different training formats to give you a maximum caloric output.
There are many different types of Zumba
Before enrolling yourself in a Zumba class, you must talk to a licensed Zumba instructor to gauge which style or form of Zumba is perfect for you during pregnancy.
For instance, Aqua Zumba can serve as an apt workout during pregnancy as it can offer the fun of classic Zumba but in cool refreshing waters. It is also easy to move about and workout in water, as the force of buoyancy makes movement easier and takes away the feeling of heaviness that a pregnant woman may feel working out on the ground. This makes Aqua Zumba a low-impact workout making it appropriate for pregnant women.
Even medical experts are getting behind Zumba
Zumba also satisfies the criteria suggested by American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which states that in the absence of contraindications healthy pregnant women can participate in moderate-intensity physical activities.
It also suggests a workout session of 30 minutes for five days a week with the heart rate not exceedingly more than 140 beats per minute for pregnant women. This makes Zumba a safe option for prenatal workout.
However, you must proceed with caution
There are other factors as well which may determine if Zumba can be the best workout for you during pregnancy, such as your fitness level before pregnancy, medical complications, previous injuries, and so on. So, it’s always best to consult your gynaecologist before starting any such workout.
But if you do get a go-ahead from your doctor for Zumba, here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:
1. Always listen to your body. You can always slow down to a march during the class if you feel yourself getting too exhausted. Cutting back on arm movements can help keep your heart rate within the required limits.
2. Do not forget that pregnancy affects the body’s balance, so be careful in movements like quick transitions, twists, and turns. Switch to marches instead of jumping, stepping in place of leaping.
3. Have plenty of water before, during, and after exercise. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes (not too loose and not too tight) as they may affect your movement. Have a good pair of shoes as they will help support your body and weight gained during pregnancy.
4. Know the warning signs of overexertion-intense uterine contraction, vaginal bleeding, dizziness, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Stop your workout and make sure to get in touch with your doctor in case you experience any of these.
To sum up, Zumba can be an appropriate workout for you during pregnancy if you take care and keep in mind the above-mentioned precautions. Enjoy, stay safe and choose your workout wisely and wishing you a happy pregnancy!