Expecting moms should exercise a minimum of 30 minutes or more almost every day of their pregnancy. Some days could be complicated than the others, but the physical activity is not just limited to exercise, you can even do stretching while on the bed. Various prenatal yoga exercises can be done on the bed, which gets the blood flowing and boosts your mood.
On the better days, get some sunlight, go for swimming, ht the gym, go for Pilates training, aerobic or dance classes and get the workout you need.
If you have a history of early labor, recurrent miscarriages, ruptured membranes, a weak cervix, multiple pregnancies or heart and lung disease, take advice from your midwife or gynecologist before starting any of the following training and exercises.
Here is a comprehensive guide to the safe pregnancy workout options.
Swimming and water aerobics are the perfect pregnancy workout and is considered safe. In the water, our body weigh less so the water buoyancy will make you feel lighter and agiler. Swimming and other water activities help relieve nausea, sciatic pain, and puffy ankles. Swimming is also a great way to get the circulation going. Evidence suggests that swimming helps encourage your baby to get into the best position for labor. And because baby’s floating along with you, it is gentle on your joints and ligaments.In early pregnancy, all swimming strokes are suitable.However, in late pregnancy, keep simple strokes. A breaststroke may be beneficial around the third trimester as it promotes good posture and strengthens the back muscles which could help ease the labor.
However underwater activities like scuba diving are not considered safe during pregnancy. A sudden change in pressure can be alarming for the baby. Be careful while walking on slippery pool sides. Wear proper slippers as damp areas harbor fungus and molds. Always step or slide into the water. As your pregnancy progresses, the body’s center of gravity will likely shift so avoid diving or jumping in the pool.
Walking is a natural exercise, and if you are working during your pregnancy, it is easy to fit it into your schedule. Studies have shown that 150 minutes walking routine over a weeks helps ease the stress. Always wear proper sneakers and comfortable outfits. You can continue this routine right up until your delivery date. Walking will help tone your muscles and also improve your cardiovascular health. Brisk walking provides extra benefits as it eventually increases your lung capacity. A light jogging routine is also a healthy alternative but be sure to protect yourself from any injury. Early in the pregnancy, you can choose running as your workout module. Towards the last trimester, running could exert extra force on your knees, joints, and ligaments. So stick to normal brisk walking in later part of pregnancy. Morning walks help you soak some sunlight, and provides you a healthy dose of vitamin D. Stay hydrated and carry electrolytes or fluids if you are prone to feeling lightheaded.
Ellipticals are good bets during pregnancy. Ellipticals provide the form of exercise that causes your body to burn more calories. It involves both your upper and lower body and also allows you to move forward or backward direction and adjust the speed, resistance and intensity of your workout. The muscle groups target for the lower body is quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings. For upper body, the biceps and triceps are targeted. During elliptical training, one relies on the core muscles for staying upright; thus it helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles. If you find yourself straining during elliptical workout adjust the resistance levels according to your preference. Various levels of inclinations are obtainable through the elliptical trainers. By increasing the inclination, the calf muscles will get more activated. Avoid stumbles. The elliptical is a fairly easy workout module and can be done throughout your pregnancy.
Lifting weights is an excellent way to increase your muscle tone when you’re expecting. Instead of using heavy weights opt for light weights with multiple repetitions instead. Stretching is mandatory before and after your workout to avoid the risk of any muscle injuries. Strengthening your back muscles will help prevent the lower back pain which is common during pregnancy. Weight training will also help you build the stamina which is needed during labor and delivery. Strength training throughout pregnancy will also help you keep your weight gain in check. Consult your trainer and doctor before starting any new routine. Weightlifting is suggested to be done thrice weekly at the start of your pregnancy and twice towards the end of your pregnancy.
Prenatal yoga is another ideal workout for expecting mothers. Yoga encourages relaxation and flexibility. It reduces the chances of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Yoga poses can such as the pigeon pose, seated side bend, supported fish pose, cat cow pose will help increase your flexibility and strengthen the back muscles.
Indoor cycling is a great exercise, as you can pedal at your own pace without the risk of falling. A daily of 20 minutes of cycling with intermittent breaks will help blood circulation and prevent the chances of varicose veins. Do not strain and relax your spine. Stretch before starting to prevent injuries.
Low-impact aerobics like Zumba is a great way to increase your heart rate. Zumba routine has known to surge the endorphin levels which is a great stressbuster. It involves almost every muscle group and increases your lung capacity. Avoid jumping and bending. Consider joining a Zumba class aimed for the expecting mothers.
Are There Any Risks of Exercising during pregnancy?
Always consult your healthcare practitioner and gynaecologist before you start any exercise routine during pregnancy.You are suggested bed rest in certain conditions such as severe anemia, placenta previa, incompetent cervix and ruptured membranes. Visit your doctor if you encounter severe signs such as unusual pain, a cramp that doesn’t go away, painful contractions, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, difficulty walking, a sudden headache, lightheadedness, increased swelling, bleeding. Do not overwork and exhaust yourself or it can lead to sore muscles, sagging resolve and even injury. You should feel energised after your workout not drained.