Zumba has taught women in more than 125 countries worldwide to dance their way to a new, fitter lifestyle. An energetic dance-inspired workout set to upbeat Latin music, Zumba can almost make you forget you are working out. Use Zumba to move your pregnant belly, keeping you and your baby fit through the power of dance.
1. Zumba Basics
The Zumba craze began in the 1990s by Columbian trainer Alberto Perez, who created a total-body workout that pulls from Latin styles of dancing, including salsa, merengue, reggaeton, flamenco and belly dancing. Zumba is considered a high-impact exercise, but it can be a safe workout during pregnancy with appropriate modifications. Before beginning any exercise program while pregnant, check with your physician to get medical clearance.
2. Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
The American Pregnancy Association recommends exercise during pregnancy to stay healthy and help alleviate some common pregnancy-related discomfort. Staying active during pregnancy can improve circulation in your body and help eliminate leg cramps and swelling of your feet and ankles. Core exercises during pregnancy can help maintain back strength, minimizing back pain and stress in later months of pregnancy when carrying the extra baby bump.
3. Zumba Modifications
Babycenter.com recommends taking a dance class such as Zumba as one of the best kinds of exercises during pregnancy, but make modifications for safety. These include marching instead of jumping, stepping instead of leaping, avoiding the common twists and bends done in Zumba and keeping both feet on the floor to avoid falls. The baby bump can knock your balance off kilter, leading to a higher risk of slipping or injuries.
4. Stay Safe
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week. However, exercising when pregnant means that you must follow certain guidelines to ensure safety for your baby and for yourself. When pregnant, raising your core body temperature above 102 degrees for more than 10 minutes may cause overheating, according to BabyCenter. When doing Zumba, slow down and limit arm movements in class to decrease the intensity of the dance moves and avoid overexertion and overheating. Watch for signs that something is wrong, including vaginal fluid leakage, including spotting or bleeding, headaches, chest pains, dizziness, increased shortness of breathe, contractions in your uterus, muscle weakness or decreased fetal movements. If you experience any symptoms, stop exercising and see a medical professional immediately.
- American Council on Exercise: Zumba Fitness: Sure, It's Fun but is it Effective?
- American Pregnancy Association: Effects of Exercise on Pregnancy
- BabyCenter: The Best Kinds of Exercise for Pregnancy
- What to Expect: Zumba in Pregnancy
- American Council on Exercise: FitFacts: Exercise and Pregnancy
- BabyCenter: The 13 Rules of Safe Pregnancy Exercises
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