Written by Editorial Team
Are you a fitness freak and ever ready to tread on that mill or are you the casual, take-it-in-your-own-leisurely-style type? The answer matters – now that you are pregnant. The reason being the fact that during the course of your pregnancy, you will gain somewhere between 10-12 kilos (thank you, big belly!) and this additional weight will be borne by your vertebral column, back muscles, abdominal wall, joints, and ligaments of your pelvis, and the muscles of your pelvic floor. But, if you appropriate exercise during pregnancy, and prepare your body, you may be saved from the usual problems that arise from weight gain.
So, much before you feel the first kick of your little one, gear up yourself to kick start your day with a guided dosage of workout regime. After all, you are a strong mum who is going to deliver a strong baby soon. So, practice pregnancy exercises as you grow in size. However, when it comes to exercising during pregnancy, it is important to understand safe exercises during pregnancy and exercises to avoid during pregnancy
In This Article
Simple exercising and controlled breathing can relax your body and mind, improve blood circulation, strengthen your muscles, and also facilitate a much easier delivery. Yes, you read it right – exercising while pregnant makes the delivery easier. For all you ladies having that question prodding you all the time – labor pain and delivery – take up effective pregnancy exercises right away. Of course, with your doctor’s permission as all pregnancies are not the same. For all of you, whatever exercise you do, make sure it is not so stressful that it leaves you wheezed out.
Remember, during these blissful nine months, a woman’s body prepares itself to fabricate a new life within itself. The body and soul in totality direct its energy to one sole purpose. And exercise is supposed to fuel your body with a stronger immune system, mental clarity, stronger bones, and muscle strength, better sleep, and mood, improved functional mobility, increased energy level, and most significantly higher self-esteem.
With the onset of pregnancy, comes multiple transformations in the physical and mental health of a woman. Some changes are visible while others are deeply enveloped, and can only be felt by the one who is facing them. Apart from a good nutritious diet, exercise plays the role of a best friend of the new mom-to-be. Have a word with your doctor, or physiotherapist, or health trainer regarding your pregnancy and associated exercise activities. As experts say, a pregnant woman can execute any and every task, but with few measures. And, this fact applies to her exercise routine too.
Exercise during pregnancy does not require any fancy sportswear or gym equipment. So why waste time? All you need is a dauntless mind and body. Irrespective of the fact that you were a regular fitness freak before pregnancy or not, you should begin your workout from the day you learned about the new add-on to your family.
Relax! Don’t worry if you have walked a distance on your pregnancy track, and still not started exercising. Anytime is a good time, to begin with.
Although it is advisable to be physically strong during pregnancy, there are certain pregnant ladies for whom working out while pregnant is not preferable at all. So if your medical condition quotes any of the below-mentioned terminologies in your report, then calm down. Simply sit back, relax and nourish yourself and your-to-be-born. Remember, it is always the best practice to consult your doctor before taking up any such physical activity.
When it comes to exercise for pregnant women in the first trimester, there are some factors you should take into consideration.
Begin with a few low-intensity exercises like walking, aqua aerobics, yoga, and swimming if you are accustomed to it. Duration should be from ten to thirty minutes, as your body speaks.
For walking, jogging, or running, opt for a flat surface. Also, the right fit and right size sports shoes should be your choice while moving out.
Aqua aerobics or swimming assist a lot in minimizing or zeroing down the risk of any muscle or back injury during pregnancy.
Once your body has synced in with the exercise discipline, you may move to level B, which includes a moderate amount of weight lifting, jogging, or even running under expert guidance.
Kegels exercise is one of the best types of exercise during pregnancy. If the term sounds too strange to you, put yourself at ease with understanding it as a set of pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy. The abdominal section of a pregnant lady undergoes a lot of physical stress and hence needs a considerable amount of attention from day 1. A set of Kegels exercises will strengthen the uterus, bladder, bowel, and vagina. This exercise renders its benefits during labor and delivery. It also minimizes the risk of developing hemorrhoids. A set of five to six Kegel exercises per day is good to go. In fact, the magic of this exercise is that you do it, but no one knows it. You can do it anywhere. Simply contact your pelvic floor muscles without taking any support from abs or abdominal muscles for just five seconds and relax. Repeat and relax.
Yoga is the best form of breathing exercise during pregnancy. It calms the mind and relaxes the muscles. If any pregnant lady is new to yoga, she should opt for guided yoga sessions, designed specifically for nine months. There are certain yoga postures that should be avoided during pregnancy like, backbend asanas, asanas that require abdominal twists or balancing concerns.
Pilates during pregnancy boosts the strength and balance of the pregnant body. This also means minimal or no back pain with gradual weight gain.
Moderate weight liftingimproves the overall body balance and core strength of the pregnant body. But while doing low-intensity weight lifting, do not lie on your back or carry weight on your belly. Also, keep guard that you do not over-strain yourself.
Stationary cycling is a great source of low-intensity aerobic workouts. Even if you have been a good cyclist before pregnancy, you should shift to stationary cycling to ensure safety. This is a great exercise for the first trimester.
Congratulations, you need not deviate much from the exercise routine, you followed during your first trimester. Also, these regular exercise sessions during pregnancy allow your body to gain only the needed weight. Following regular exercise during this time gives a proper shape to your body, which is beneficial for both mom and baby. So, if your pregnancy is uncomplicated to date and your body balance is good, you may execute the below-mentioned exercises with ease.
You can continue walking even in the second trimester. Walking at a desirable pace for ten to thirty minutes on alternate days of the week improves the heart rate. Make use of your upper arms while walking, to improve your stamina. But keep yourself well hydrated too.
You can also continue with your yoga routine, in your second trimester. But beware of not taking the risk of executing yoga asanas that require abdominal twists or asanas which induce the risk of fall. It is better if you have a partner/ caregiver to support you during your regime. Also, avoid the posture where you are required to lie on your back and lift your legs.
Water is a great friend. It keeps you hydrated and one can also take up an aqua sport like swimming and aerobics. Swimming or water aerobics doesn’t carry any risk of fall, and yet strengthens the pregnant lady to the core. So you may practice three to four days of the week.
If running was a part of your exercise during pregnancy’s first trimester, then you may continue the same here. But be cautious, because, with an increase in the size of your belly, your center of gravity also shifts. Don’t take running as a novel exercise during the second trimester. Prefer a treadmill to lanes, as your body needs support now.
This is the time when your body will set major challenges for you, as you are on the verge of giving birth now. In the third trimester, the pregnant lady feels the urge of frequent urination, and with increased belly size, it does become a little more challenging, skin feels stretched, the nights are sleepless, there are heartburns, Braxton hicks, back pain, fatigue and so much more.
But if exercise was your companion in the initial months, keep it along even now because it will shield you against all the above and many more conditions which come along. Reports suggest that a healthy and fit pregnant lady has zero or minimal danger of gestational diabetes and cesarean.
During the third trimester, don’t opt for any new form of exercise. Continue with walking, pilates, yoga, swimming or aqua aerobics, if these were what you did initially.
Stomach strengthening exercises are those which support your back when the size of your belly increases and the hollow on your back increases, resulting in backache.
Pelvic tilt exercises are the one involving mild spine movements and still strengthening the muscles. Before initiating pelvic exercises, a pregnant woman should consult her doctor and also understand what all types of pelvic exercises are permissible for her. There are numerous variations of pelvic tilt exercises. Let’s understand them in detail:
For pelvic tilt exercise, the woman needs to stand upright straight against the wall with back touching the wall. Hold on for ten seconds and then relax.
Take a firm exercise ball for sitting. The height of the ball should be such that when the lady sits on it, her hips are higher than her knees. Sit with your back straight and pelvis bent forward.
The lady needs to take an exercise ball and lie on the ball on back. The upper body is on the ball and the pelvis is in the midair. Remain in this position for a few seconds. Relaxing and then repeating it as many times as possible also aids during childbirth.
Lie on your back. Fold your knees by raising them. Lift the back from the pelvic region a bit and hold it for a few seconds. Relax and repeat.
Here is a list of exercises that need to avoided during Pregnancy:
As per “The American College Of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists”, these are the below-mentioned precautions to be taken while exercising during pregnancy:
Labor pain is the most intense pain a lady goes through during childbirth. But for a lady who did follow a good set of exercises during pregnancy, this pain is reduced a lot.
Studies show that mothers who did active exercise during their third trimester, not only did benefit their own selves, but it also proved to be beneficial for their child.
Irrespective of the type of exercise and the month of pregnancy, the lady should immediately pause her exercise if she experiences any of the following:
Of course not! Choosing good exercises for pregnancy with the approval of a doctor will not lead to miscarriage. How can an act of utter goodness and well-being be a reason behind failure? In fact, exercise along with its plethora of benefits reduces the chances of miscarriage. However, one should always consult the doctor as the amount of exercise a pregnant woman can do depends on person to person. The tolerance towards pregnancy activities varies with pregnancies.
Heartiest congratulations new mom! We hope, because of a very active and healthy pregnancy, you had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery. So, after taking a break for a few days, you may resume your exercises as soon as you feel perfect to do so.
Don’t overdo any exercise. Start with very low-intensity exercises. Increase the pace gradually. Also, do take advice from your health care provider before resuming your exercises.
And, always remember to speak to your doctor before starting with these exercises, be it during pregnancy or afterward.
We believe that after such in-depth knowledge on the deep benefits of exercise during pregnancy, you must be all ready with your sports shoes on and your mind all set. We understand it’s not going to be an easy journey, but the end result is all worth it. Afterall;
“Mama, you are strong, beautiful, and more powerful than you know.
Trust your body;
And know, that
No matter how your birth goes;
There is a powerful collective of mamas that are right behind you,
Cheering you on.” – Anonymous
Wish you a happy and fit pregnancy, and we wish to see you on a regular basis for all your queries related to parenthood. Till then, happy reading!
With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.
Edible Gum(Gond) During Pregnancy – Is it Safe, How to Consume and Top Benefits
Top 500 Modern Baby Boy Names Starting With R
Carbohydrates During Pregnancy – Importance and Sources
Masturbation During Pregnancy – Is is Safe to Do?
Top 50 Popular Names For Boy Babies Born in September
Eel During Pregnancy – Is it Safe, Benefits and Side Effects