Exercising when pregnant used to be considered risky and unsafe, but pregnancy exercise is now known to be safe and highly beneficial to pregnant women who are in good health and are having a normal pregnancy without any complications.
Fitness levels of women who do not exercise during pregnancy begin to decrease month by month as the pregnancy continues and the pregnant woman becomes heavier and heavier. A good exercise regime that fits into a pregnant woman's daily lifestyle can prevent fitness levels from dropping and encourages a sense of overall happiness and well-being.
The Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
Regular exercise during pregnancy improves both your physical and mental health. Listed below are some benefits of doing exercise while pregnant:
- Decreases feelings of fatigue and increases energy levels
- Improves sleep and reduces insomnia
- Improves both physical and mental well-being by producing endorphins-the happy hormones!!
- Strengthens muscles and increases endurance
- Helps pregnant women cope with the imbalance of a growing abdomen
- Improve joints
- Reduces backaches
- Reduces constipation
- Reduces the swelling of hands and feet
- Strengthening your body and endurance will enable you to cope with labor better
- Helps women to regain pre-pregnancy shape sooner after the birth of their baby
Choosing the Right Exercise When Pregnant
If you are already a regular participant in exercise or a sport, you can probably continue to participate throughout your pregnancy with some alterations. However, it is always best to seek advice from your healthcare provider:
It is not advised to take up a new sport during your pregnancy, but here are some pregnancy exercise ideas that are safe for healthy pregnant women (experiencing normal pregnancies with no complications) new to exercise to participate in:
- Walking at a brisk pace
- Swimming in shallow water that is neither too hot nor too cold. This is a non-weight-bearing exercise which is one of the easiest ways to stay fit during pregnancy
- Aqua natal programs designed for pregnant women
- Cycling on a stationary bike at a comfortable speed and tension setting
- A step machine, at a comfortable tension setting
- Prenatal yoga wearing suitable pregnancy yoga wear
- Pilates designed for pregnancy
- Pelvic toning (kegel exercises)
- Relaxation routines
Guidelines for Exercise During Pregnancy
Keep the following precautions in mind while performing any exercise during pregnancy:
- Always warm up slowly and cool down gradually- muscles and joints are vulnerable when cold and are especially vulnerable during pregnancy.
- Wear loose-fitting, comfortable maternity clothes, supportive footwear, and a good well-fitted bra to protect your breasts while exercising.
- The levels of the hormone Relaxin increase during pregnancy to relax your joints. This can make it easier to hurt yourself. Stretching should therefore be performed to maintain flexibility, not to improve it to avoid developmental stretching.
- Inform your instructor that you are pregnant to inform you of unsafe exercises and give you a safe alternative.
- Avoid exercising flat on your back after the first three months because it restricts blood flow to your baby.
- It is vital to drink plenty of water so you do not become dehydrated.
- Stop if you feel any pain or muscular pain or are uncomfortable.
- Do not get too hot, and do not exercise to exhaustion.
- Do not use a sauna, steam room, or jacuzzi.
- Do not perform exercises that pull on the abdomen, such as sit-ups and double leg lifts.
- Avoid pointing toes as this could lead to cramping in your calves, flex your feet instead of pointing feet up towards your face.