Expecting mothers often feel tired and have a host of other uncomfortable symptoms, such as swelling ankles or back aches. This shouldn’t stop you from exercising. It’s a good idea to move during pregnancy, as it has many benefits!
There are many benefits to exercising during pregnancy, both mentally as well as physically. Regular exercise can help reduce backache, bloating, and swelling. Pregnancy workouts can also be a great way to boost your mood and energy, according to some pregnant women. A good exercise program can help you have a smoother pregnancy. Exercise has been shown to reduce the likelihood of pregnancy weight gain.
Exercise can cause preterm labor or affect baby’s growth?
People mistakenly believe that exercise can lead to preterm births (PTB) in low-risk pregnancy. This is a myth. Some women may be able to reduce their risk by exercising. Exercise can help reduce the likelihood of having to have a caesarean section and increase the chance of natural birth by improving the fitness of the mother. Exercise does not appear to cause any growth restriction on the baby.
Brisk walking, aerobic exercise, such as stationary cycling, dancing, resistance (weights or rubber bands), swimming and stretching are all safe options for pregnant women. Avoid contact sports like boxing and hockey. Avoid activities that have a high risk of falling, such as cycling and deep-water sports like scuba diving.
How often and when should a pregnant woman start to exercise?
You can begin aerobic activity in the first trimester, and continue it until you give birth. It is still recommended that you exercise 150 minutes per week. You can divide this into 30- to 60-minute sessions, four to five times per week. During these sessions, keep your heart rate between 60-60% and 80% of the maximum threshold. Keep it below 140 beats per hour. You should stay hydrated during, after, and before exercise.
It is important to know which exercises are best suited for each stage. This is because pregnant women’s bodies change so quickly. It is easier to get started exercising early in pregnancy and keep it up. It will be more difficult to find time to exercise during pregnancy. These are safe and appropriate pregnancy exercises for each trimester.
Exercise in the first trimester
As your body adjusts to major changes, this trimester can be the most difficult for moms-to-be. This is a time to be gentle with yourself, especially if your lifestyle isn’t very active. It’s probably not a good idea for you to run a marathon, or do a 10 km run. However, a slow walk should be fine. Begin slow walking for 10 to 15 minutes each time. Gradually increase your walk duration until you reach 30 minutes. To help you get some weight training, it might be worth carrying a dumbbell in each of your hands.
Safe exercises for the first trimester
- Jogging and walking
- Water aerobics
Low-intensity strength training such as squats or lunges, without heavy weights, is possible.
- Pelvic curls
- Pelvic brace
Exercise in the second trimester is the best time to exercise!
Many moms-to be feel better and relieved at this stage. This stage is when your morning sickness and fatigue will likely have diminished, giving you more energy. You can still exercise in the second trimester, from week 22-24. It is safe to jog slowly after 24 weeks of gestation. However, this becomes more difficult due to a larger stomach. Do not do extended lying down on your stomach for long periods of time. This can cause strain to your body.
Safe exercises for the second trimester
- Quadriceps and hip flexor flexes
- Pull-ups in the Inclination
- Mermaid stretches
- Side-lying leg lifts
- Prenatal yoga
- Brisk walking and weight lifting
- Swimming and water aerobics
- Exercise in the third trimester
As your body prepares to give birth, your baby’s weight increases, you might notice a decrease in your ability to move. You may find it difficult to walk as fast or bend down as easy as in the early stages. You can improve your mobility and abdominal strength by doing moderate cardio. It is important to note that your centre gravity has changed quite dramatically so that you can avoid balance exercises.
Safe exercises for the third trimester
- Brisk Walking
- Prenatal yoga
- Exercises on the pelvic floor
For expecting mothers, here are some basic guidelines regarding exercise
- The guide gives you an idea of what you can do. However, it is crucial that you exercise safely. These are some tips to help you exercise safely during pregnancy.
- Do not push yourself too hard. Take a break if nauseating, dehydrated, or experiencing abnormal vaginal discharges, bleeding, or pelvic pain.
- Avoid contact sports like soccer and basketball that involve a high chance of injury or falling.
- Talk to your doctor. Before you attempt any strenuous exercises, get clearance from your doctor.
Your exercise intensity should be matched to your fitness level. Everybody is different. For example, a mom-to-be living a more sedentary life might find running more challenging than a professional athlete. Listen to your body and stop when it says so.
Get your energy up: Remember to consider your pregnancies and exercise program when you eat.
Most exercises are safe for healthy mothers-to-be, provided she is careful and knows when to stop. Your obstetrician can help you determine if it is safe to continue with some of your exercise routines during pregnancy. Regular exercise will help you to cope with the changes and make it easier for you to deliver your baby. Keep safe and healthy, and congrats on your new addition to the family!