There was a myth that has been going on for years in regards to pregnant women. If you are pregnant you should 1) eat as much as you want and 2) sit around and rest as much as possible.
While this may sound ideal to some, medical research has indicated that 1) pregnant women should eat as much healthy food as possible and 2) engaging in aerobic exercise and physical activities will ensure that you will have an easier and healthier pregnancy. Exercising regularly during your pregnancy relieves and prevents discomfort such as backaches and fatigue. In addition, it also gives you extra energy and prepares the body for labour by increasing your stamina and muscle strength. Now before you jump for joy and head on to the next Zumba class at your nearby gym, do read on about how you can keep yourself and your baby safe, while enjoying a healthy workout.
1. Practice Safety
As a pregnant mother, you should be cautious with exercise activities that you involve yourself in. Make it as a good habit to constantly monitor your physical condition to ensure your safety and that of your unborn child. Consider having low impact activities such as swimming, gentle aerobics, step or elliptical machines, walking and stationary cycling. These type of exercises have little risk of injury, benefit your entire body, and can be continued until birth.
Other activities, such as light jogging, can be done in moderation. But do avoid those exercises that require extensive jumping, bouncing, running, skipping, or hopping. Also, avoid activities that increase your risk of falls or injury such as contact sports like softball, football, basketball, and volleyball. Also its not a good idea to engage in activities that require lying flat on your back because this prevents adequate blood flow to you and the baby.
2. Exercise at Least 30 Minutes Per Day
Have at least a 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise per day on most of the days of the week, unless you have a medical or pregnancy complication. It’s not advisable for pregnant women with medical problems such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes to exercise. If you also in the past have experienced pregnancy-related condition such as recurrent miscarriage, previous premature births and low placenta, don’t consider exercising as an option.
3. Choose Low-Impact Exercises
Cycling is a great aerobic exercise to practice during pregnancy. In this case, only use a stationary bike to avoid injuring yourself and the baby. So no, you may not go mountain biking on that new intense trail during your pregnancy.
Walking improves blood circulation in the body, eases your joints, muscles and helps the baby move into position because of the swaying of the hips. Walking is particularly encouraged when nearing your due date because it stimulates the abdominal muscles to contract.
Swimming is a relaxing activity that strengthens abdominal and shoulder muscles for pregnant women. These are very vital areas when carrying the baby. It also improves oxygen circulation to muscles, improves cardiovascular fitness and reduces joint stiffness. While swimming, try to get enough breath by closing your mouth and releasing a little bit of your air through your nose when your head is immersed in water. Exhale through both your mouth and nose when you turn your face up.
Yoga practice prepares your body and mind for labor and birth. These type of exercise ensures smoother and easier delivery because it helps you focus, concentrate and keeps your body healthy. However, poses that put pressure on the abdomen and other difficult poses should be avoided during advanced stages of pregnancy.
4. Drink Plenty Of Water
The risk of dehydration is increased during exercise in the pregnant women. It is therefore, advisable to drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses a day and more when it’s hot.
While physical exercise is very essential during pregnancy, always consult your doctor or your health care provider before commencing any exercise program. Moreover, in case you encounter any danger signs like vaginal bleeding, decreased foetal activity, dizziness or any unusual changes in the body, contact your physician immediately.