Elliptical use while pregnant provides a low-impact cardiovascular workout while toning muscles. Instead of using an unnatural movement like stair steppers, elliptical machines offer the natural movement of walking or running. When you move naturally, you place less stress on joints and muscles, which makes a suitable pregnancy workout.
You need to choose a safe form of exercise during pregnancy. Avoid exercises that require bouncing and high-impact movements. Because walking is one of the safest forms of exercise for pregnant women and is low-impact, elliptical machines are an effective and good choice.
Benefits During Pregnancy
Elliptical machines, because they offer a low-impact workout, offer pregnant women a workout option they can continue throughout their pregnancy. Exercising with an elliptical, similar to other low-impact exercises, offers health benefits that include less weight gain and back pain, reduced pelvic pressure, prevention of leg cramps and varicose veins and reduced swelling. Exercising on an elliptical machine might give a pregnant woman more stress tolerance during pregnancy and could lead to an easier delivery.
How to Use While Pregnant
You can use an elliptical every day while pregnant. Maintain proper posture and wear light, loose-fitting clothing. Drink water throughout your workout to stay hydrated and to prevent stress on your body and the fetus. Keep track of your exercise intensity with an external heart rate monitor, or use a computerized elliptical that tracks heart rate along with other factors such as speed, distance and calories burned.
Elliptical Machine Features
Different elliptical models offer varying features you can use while pregnant. Some models have stationary or moving handlebars. Use the stationary handlebars if that is the only way to keep your balance, or use the moving handlebars to provide support and to exercise your upper body at the same time as your lower body. Elliptical machines often have automatic controls to adjust resistance and the incline for a higher or lower intensity workout. Use the controls to adjust the resistance or incline to a level you feel comfortable with. Computerized elliptical machines contain a control panel to provide feedback on your speed, time, distance, calories burned and heart rate to customize and attain goals in your pregnancy workout.
Grip the elliptical firmly as you mount and dismount it. Pregnancy causes your balance to be less secure, so always hold the handlebars throughout your workout. Stop exercising any time you feel light-headed or if you experience pain. If you can't speak normally while exercising, slow down or stop exercising. Consult with your physician before starting any exercise program while pregnant. Although some elliptical models fold up and have wheels to transport it for storage, pregnant women should not lift or move the machine.
- Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.