Pregnancy is one of the most important times in a woman’s life. Being pregnant does not simply mean having a baby inside you. But, being pregnant means another precious life is growing within you, which is a blessing, a baby, someone who you will carry for nine months, but in your heart for a lifetime. Though many challenges are faced during pregnant, such as what diet to take during pregnancy, how much to work out, what workouts to do during pregnancy and ultimately how to maintain your fitness when pregnant. All these questions are very important and nothing can be ignored because it is not only about your fitness but also about the fitness of your baby. Your fitness will directly affect the fitness and the health of your baby during delivery.
Exercising During Pregnancy Safe or Not?
Exercising during pregnancy is very important and helps in preparing your body for labor. Exercising is just a physical activity that promotes better health and maintains overall fitness. There are many first time pregnant women who have a misconception that physical activity should be minimized during pregnancy and puts you at risk for miscarriage, which is not true. Exercising during pregnancy is not just safe, but is recommended by many doctors to perform certain exercises during pregnancy. Though many times there are complications during pregnancy and in such cases one must consult the doctor about the exercise routine.
Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy
As we all are aware that exercising makes the body and mind fresh by increasing the intake of oxygen to all parts of the body that increases the supply of blood flow to all your vital organs. If it is your first pregnancy then you should start by making a pregnancy fitness routine for yourself. This routine might include the time you will exercise, eat, sleep and do other works. This will not only help you maintain a continuous fitness routine but will also make sure that you are healthy until you give birth. It is not necessary to do an hour-long intense workout and is not recommended either, but exercising for at least 20 to 30 minutes is considered healthy and keeps you active and maintain your fitness when pregnant. All the benefits of exercising during pregnancy are given below.
- Improves the mood.
- Helps in constipation.
- Promotes a better sleep.
- Improves strength and endurance.
- Helps in preventing gestational diabetes.
- Improves the capability to deal with labor.
- Reduces bloating and swelling and backaches.
- Makes it easier to lose weight after the childbirth.
- Improves the energy levels and makes you feel fresh and active.
Best Type of Exercises to Maintain Your Fitness When Pregnant
Not every exercise is safe during pregnancy and might result in and an injury or worse. That is why it is of utmost important to choose the exercises that are suitable to perform during pregnancy. Thus, we have sorted out five low impact exercises that every pregnant woman should perform routinely.
1. Walking/Lite Jogging
It is the most common type and the safest exercise to perform during pregnancy. Often known as brisk walking, it can be performed anywhere there is an empty space. The most suitable locations for brisk walking during pregnancy are parks, your backyard, empty streets or any place where there is a minimum to no obstacles. Walk for not more than 30 minutes or until you feel like stopping. Also, make sure you walk on empty space and smooth surface to avoid rocks, potholes and other obstacles that might make you lose your balance.
2. Gym/Home Cycling
Cycling, not the regular one which you ride on the streets. But, stationary cycling is another low impact exercise for you to perform to maintain your fitness when pregnant. The stationary cycling is recommended because of the safety. You do not have to go anywhere, and do not have the fear of falling. You can do this exercise at gym or even at home. Cycling allows the heart to pump blood faster and more efficiently to all the part of your body without putting too much stress on your joints. You must set the handlebar of the stationary cycle according to your comfort, although a raised or higher handlebar is recommended and more comfortable for posterior pregnancy.
Yoga has always been one of the best exercises to promote fitness. It helps maintain the flexibility in the body and allows a healthy blood flow. Though, during pregnancy one should consider prenatal yoga either at home or by joining prenatal yoga classes. Practicing yoga throughout your pregnancy not only keeps your fit but will also train you to keep calm during labor.
It is very important to either consult a personal yoga trainer or thoroughly research online for all the yoga poses that are suitable for pregnancy. Also, there are many poses such as lying on the abdomen or the back, that must not be performed during the later stages of pregnancy.
We have been taught aerobic exercises in our schools and almost everyone is familiar about the importance of aerobics in the daily life. Like the other exercises, aerobics also has just a single motive of promoting healthy and fit lifestyle. Many exercises can be performed in aerobics, but for pregnancy not every aerobic exercise is suitable. Exercises like jumping, rope skipping, sprinting, high kicks, leaps and other intense exercises must be avoided at all costs.
Aerobic exercises that are safer and are suitable for woman during pregnancy include every exercise that requires only one foot in the air while the other one is always on the ground. All these exercises are gentle to the fetus and the uterus. So, you can either join any aerobic classes that are specially for pregnant women or consult a personal aerobic trainer to exercise at home.
Swimming is very beneficial during pregnancy and is also considered as one of the best ways to maintain your fitness when pregnant. You can get rid of the extra weight while in the swimming pool and feel relaxed. Also, swimming in water is safer and has lower risks of injuries or strain to the fetus or uterus. There are many physical activities that you can perform in the water that includes water walk, swimming, aerobics in water, etc. All these activities in water have almost null strain on your abdomen due to the buoyancy of the water that makes you feel lighter in weight.
But whenever you are going in the pool, make sure to take proper safety measures such as using the railing while entering the pool to avoid slipping, making sure the water is not warm. Also, do not enter any steam rooms, saunas or hot tubs to avoid overheating.
Things To Always Keep In Mind During Pregnancy
- Always begin and end the exercise by properly warming up and stretching for at least 5 minutes.
- Don not eat right before you want to exercise, take a break of at least an hour before exercising.
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water all day, especially before, during and after exercise.
- Avoid lifting heavy weights at home, gym or anywhere you go as it might put a strain on your abdomen.
- Always know your limits and never exercise to the point of exhaustion. This increases the risk of your fainting down that might cause an injury or even worse.
- Avoid exercising completely if:
- There is vaginal bleeding/spotting.
- You have a weak cervix.
- You are low on placenta.
- Possibility of Preterm delivery.
- Your doctor has asked you not to.
- Immediately stop exercising if you are experiencing pain in abdomen, chest or pelvic area.
- Take rest if you have difficulty walking after or during an exercise.
- Always wear good quality sports shoes to have a better grip and to prevent yourself from any injuries.
- Always have a friend, relative or partner with your during exercising whenever possible.
Every pregnant woman must exercise everyday to stay fit, calm and healthy. There are many classes, only for pregnant women who wants to continue their fitness routine even during their pregnancy with specially designed exercises, diet plans and other measures to promote fitness when pregnant. Even if you do not want to join any of the fitness classes then you can do all the exercises easily at home, only thing to keep in mind is proper precaution.