Pregnancy Exercises – Why You Need to Exercise During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a physiological phenomenon in the life of a woman. The body undergoes a multitude of changes in these nine months both physical and emotional. The pre-pregnancy body is firm and the skin has not stretched. The uterus is in its virgin form and has never been stretched before. With each passing week of pregnancy, the body undergoes a transformation and finally at the end of nine months, a beautiful life is born. These changes caused by pregnancy affect our body in various ways, some good and some bad. So, to avoid these changes and to redeem your previous shape post pregnancy, it is important that you follow certain pregnancy exercises that will keep you and your growing fetus healthy all life.
Types of Exercise for Pregnant Women
For a healthy baby, it is very important that you stay fit during your pregnancy. Exercise during pregnancy to enjoy a healthy body and mind. However, the best way to do so is by learning about the dos and don’ts of these pregnancy exercises. In uncomplicated pregnancies, doctors recommend 20-30 minutes of moderate intensity exercises on a daily basis. In case you have pre-existing illness like diabetes or hypertension, daily exercises will help you to keep them under good control. However it is always safe to consult your doctor before joining any exercise regime and know about the various pregnancy exercises to avoid. In case you have bleeding or spotting in your early weeks or a history of miscarriage, low lying placenta etc, the doctor may advice you to abstain from certain kinds of exercise.
- Swimming: It is a very safe and effective cardiovascular exercise for pregnant women. It helps your arms, legs and back muscles. Also you can effortlessly do under water exercises in spite of the weight that you are carrying around. It is very helpful for ladies who have backache during their pregnancy.
- Walking: Walking is one of the best and most effective exercise for pregnant ladies. You can begin walking from the day you conceive. It falls in the category of low to moderate intensity pregnancy workouts. It does not require any complicated equipment. You need to simply invest in a good pair of shoes with a good anti-skid surface. You can continue to walk throughout the nine months of pregnancy. It is the safest pregnancy exercise for the first trimester.
- Yoga: Yoga is a systematic and methodical workout combined with breathing exercises. It is very effective because the counted breathing pattern helps your lungs to inhale and exhale completely and the postures help in stretching the muscles of the back. It must be done under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher to avoid over spraining. Meditation is also very helpful during pregnancy because it helps you to relax and relive the stress you are going through.
- Aerobics: Aerobics are a very good cardio exercise for you during pregnancy as it increases the blood flow to the heart and other parts of the body. Dance steps combined with it make workout fun and you can join a group of other expectant moms for these exercises. You must avoid jumping, twirls and jerky moves.
- Weights: Weight training exercises are useful for muscle building. You must use light weights and do limited exercise counts under a trainer’s guidance.
Activities to Avoid During Pregnancy
Now that you know which pregnancy exercises to follow, it also gets important that you learn about the list of activities that you should avoid. Make sure you know about these activities and say No to them during your pregnancy!
- Amusement park rides
- Scuba diving
- Long journeys
- Jerky rides
- Motor bike rides
When to Avoid Exercises in Pregnancy
During your pregnancy there are some medical conditions where exercising can cause harm to you or your baby. In such cases, the doctor may even advice complete bed rest. The following are some such conditions where exercises are contraindicated:
- Multiple pregnancies with a risk of pre-term labor
- Cervical incontinence ( early opening up of the cervix)
- Placenta previa
- Pre-term labor
- History of miscarriage in earlier pregnancy
- Preeclampsia ( a medical condition characterized by high blood pressure, swelling of feet and visual symptoms)
- Twin pregnancies
- Bleeding in the early weeks of pregnancy.
You could join a prenatal class where other expectant mothers also exercise in a group or you could buy a pregnancy exercise dvd. Many ladies with normal pregnancies prefer to follow pregnancy exercises at home with these videos which are available very easily online. Whichever option you choose, it is very important to remember that you do not over exert and in case you notice any pain or bleeding, stop immediately and check with your doctor.
Benefits of Pregnancy Exercises
There are multiple benefits of early pregnancy exercises. Exercises help to boost mood, reduces the minor aches and pains and also helps you to sleep better. The stretching exercises are beneficial for your back and the muscle strengthening helps your abdomen and back muscles to bear the strain as the size of the uterus grows and your center of gravity changes. If the exercises are done systematically, then they also help you to get back in shape earlier post delivery. Pregnancy fitness is a very important thing these days.