Is it safe to participate in a strenuous dance class during pregnancy?

Is it safe to participate in a strenuous dance class during pregnancy?

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It depends on whether this is a new activity for you.

If you weren't taking dance classes before your pregnancy and want to take up dance now, I'd say no, it's not a good idea. I suggest you stay away from any form of exercise that you weren't doing before pregnancy, with the exception of walking and swimming.

If you've been taking dance classes and want to keep it up, it's probably fine, even if the class is strenuous. In general, when you're pregnant you can keep doing the type of exercise you did before – as long as you make some modifications, and as long as there's nothing about your physical condition that puts you or your pregnancy at high risk from such activity.

To make an informed decision about whether (or how) to stay with your class, you first need to understand the changes in heart function and metabolism that pregnancy brings.

Early in pregnancy, the amount of blood circulated by your heart increases. It then levels off during the third trimester, at 30 to 50 percent above normal. Your heart has to work harder to pump all that extra blood around, so you'll get pooped more easily from physical activity. Any aerobic exercise you do while pregnant will be more of a struggle than usual, regardless of how intense or mild your workout is.

Your heart rate rises during pregnancy, too, because of the increased volume of blood. After workouts it may take as long as 15 minutes for your heart to recover to its resting rate. Since the heart and other muscles also need additional blood flow during exercise, there could be competition with the placenta for that extra blood.

Your risk for muscle strain, tearing, or other injury is higher, too, because the same pregnancy hormone that helps the uterus expand also weakens the body's connective tissues. So jumping, jarring motions, and quick directional changes are not a good idea.

Even so, there are modifications that can help lower your heart rate and make dance class a safe bet for your and your baby:

  • Keep one foot on the floor at all times.
  • March or step side-to-side instead of jumping.
  • Use fewer arm movements.
  • Avoid quick turns that might cause jarring Instead, always face in one direction.

It's essential to get the go-ahead from your healthcare practitioner first. But with these simple changes, you should be able to stick with your class.

Read more about dancing during pregnancy.

Read more about excercise during pregnancy.

Watch the video: The Seven Months Pregnant Hip Hop Dance Teacher (August 2022).

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