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The Do’s and Don’ts of Exercising While Pregnant

The Do’s and Don’ts of Exercising While Pregnant

Many women want to try exercising while pregnant, but they are unsure what exercises are safe and which should be avoided. Having a regular exercise routine during your pregnancy actually has many benefits; it can improve your posture, help to get rid of back ache and fatigue, relieve stress and even improve your mood.

However, not all women will benefit from exercising while pregnant – it depends on how regularly you exercised before you became pregnant.

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Can I exercise while pregnant?

Exercising while pregnant is good for your body, but the amount of exercise you should do will depend on how fit you were before your pregnancy. If you exercised regularly, you should be able to continue with a modified version of your exercise routine.

If you didn’t exercise regularly before your pregnancy, do not start a new, strenuous form of exercise. However, you can create a safe exercise programme with your doctor. As a rough guide, the American College Of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommend exercising for 30 minutes a day while pregnant.

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No matter how healthy you are, if you are exercising while pregnant it is important not to over-do it or push yourself too hard.

The guidelines of exercising while pregnant

Exercising while pregnant can build your strength and leave you feeling great. Follow these rules to make sure your exercise routine is benefiting you and your baby.

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  • Wear loose, comfortable clothes and appropriate shoes. This means you are less likely to fall over or injure yourself.
  • When you are pregnant your centre of gravity changes, so you may feel more clumsy – so make sure you are working out on a flat surface.
  • Make sure you are replacing the calories you are burning. You are eating for two now, so it is important to make sure there are enough calories left for both of you after you have finished working out.
  • Stay hydrated. Make sure you drink water before, during and after your work-out.
  • If you were on the floor while you exercised, get up slowly as you are more likely to experience head-rush.

Safe exercises you can do during pregnancy

There are many safe exercises you can do while you are pregnant that will benefit your body.

  • Swimming is a great way to gently exercise your whole body while pregnant, and it has the added benefit of helping to relieve back pain.
  • Brisk walking won’t push your body too much but it will help to get you moving, so it is well-suited to pregnant women.
  • Cycling on a stationary bike is an excellent form of exercise that is well suited to pregnant women.
  • Gentle aerobics will stretch your body and help to strengthen your lungs without harming your baby.
  • Moderate jogging is fine if you regularly ran before your pregnancy.

Exercises you should avoid while pregnant

Some forms of exercising are extremely dangerous while pregnant and should be completely avoided.

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  • Any contact sports including football, soccer, hockey and basketball. All of these sports can be harmful to you and your baby.
  • Any exercise that requires you to lay on your right side or back for more than a few minutes – especially after your third month of pregnancy.
  • Any exercise that requires bouncing or jumping.
  • Any exercise where falling is possible, such as skiing, snowboarding or horseback riding.
  • Scuba diving, as it can put your baby at risk of decompression sickness, a serious illness that develops as the pressure changes around the baby in your womb.

Do not continue with ANY form of exercise if you develop a headache, chest or calf pain, start feeling dizzy or faint, or if you start to experience vaginal bleeding.

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Published on November 7, 2018

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

Figure Out the Laws

Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

Decide on an Approach

Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

Supplies/Resources

Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

Find a Community

Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

7 Different Homeschooling Methods

1. School-At-Home

Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

  • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
  • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
  • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

2. Classical

One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

3. Unit Studies

Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

  • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
  • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
  • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

4. Charlotte Mason

This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

5. Montessori

Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

6. Unschooling

Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

7. Eclectic/Relaxed

As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

Email

Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

Google Drive/Calendar

Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

Ebooks

Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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E-Courses

When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

Some recommendations:

Youtube

Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

Some recommendations:

Final Thoughts

Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

Reference

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