At the time of pregnancy it is important that you take lots of rest. However, doctors often advise moderate exercises as they help improve your overall health as well as that of your baby.
Benefits of physical activities during pregnancy:
Your body undergoes a number of changes when you’re pregnant – the levels of estrogen and progesterone shoot up considerably, the curvature of your spinal cord is affected, and your body physically transforms. Physical activity helps you cope better with these changes.
- Exercise helps improve overall physical health & builds stronger bones, muscles and joints.
- A number of women experience gestational diabetes during pregnancy, even if they never suffered from blood sugar problems themselves. Exercise helps keep the blood glucose levels in check and reduces the chance of acquiring diabetes.
- Moderate exercising helps build stamina which will be helpful during labour and delivery.
Types of physical activities you can do:
During pregnancy doctors recommend engaging in low intensity exercises.
- Weights: Workouts like dead-lifts, squats and inverted rows will help you gain stability and build overall strength. This is especially important during pregnancy because your centre of gravity changes. Using light weights, of not more than 2 kilos will be beneficial if done in low intensity.
- Cardio: Cardiovascular exercises help you build stamina and improve the overall health of your heart. Low intensity cardio exercises like swimming, elliptical training, brisk walking, stationary cycling are great during pregnancy.
- Prenatal Yoga: Low intensity yoga moves that focus on conditioning and muscle strengthening, like stretching are the ones you should be looking at. While you are at it, try to spend 2-3 minutes doing Kegel exercises for a strong pelvic floor. This will help you during labour and delivery.
When should you not exercise during pregnancy?
Though exercising is always great for your health, in some situations it might lead to complications, especially if you were not physically active before you got pregnant. Check with your doctor before you decide to exercise, if you have:
- A history of heart disease, lung disease or breathing problems.
- Short cervix or have previously experienced miscarriages.
- Placenta previa, or if your placenta lies low in the uterine wall.
- High blood pressure, exercising during pregnancy may put extra pressure on your body as well as on that of the baby.
Things to remember:
All said and done, before you decide to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, it is always advisable to consult your doctor. Certain moves can help you in the long run, whereas some may cause more harm than good.
Below mentioned are a few simple things to remember when exercising during pregnancy:
- Avoid Exertion: Irrespective of your fitness level, do not over exert yourself. Even if you have been into heavy full-fledged workout before, pregnancy has changed your body and it is better if you go easy on yourself at least for now.
- No complex moves: It is advised that you steer clear from any physical activity that requires balancing and coordination. The centre of gravity of your body will have changed during pregnancy, and since you are not used to it, you run a higher risk of falling if your balance goes off.
- Nothing high intensity: During pregnancy, it is also advised that you stay away from high intensity sports like basketball, volleyball, hockey, etc – anything that puts you at a risk of getting injured.
- Never exhaust yourself: Always opt for low intensity exercises during pregnancy and make sure to never wear yourself out. This is especially harmful because you and your baby, need a ready supply of oxygen at all times.
As it turns out, there’s never any alternative to physical activity when it comes to living healthy. Follow the simple steps mentioned above to sail through your pregnancy.
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