Pregnancy requires a mother to stay fit and healthy. Exercising doesn’t mean maintaining a steady pregnancy weight. It benefits you in a number of ways by providing relief from backaches, heartburns, fatigue, and even for maintaining a good posture and proper body balance. Many exercises help make childbirth easier by increasing stamina, stretching the pelvic muscles, enhancing breathing, and relieving the stress and anxiety. Here are 10 exercises to include in your routine that promote an overall fitness during pregnancy.
Precautions To Take Before You Begin
- Take advice from your doctor in case of a pregnancy complication as some exercise may not be safe for you.
- Always have an expert around to guide you better with proper postures—or someone to take care if the need arises.
- Begin slow and with simple exercises, if you are new to this exercise routine.
- Don’t push yourself too much—if you feel uncomfortable in a posture, stop. Again, if you feel you can hold a stretch or posture, go ahead
- If you feel pain, stop immediately. If the pain persists, contact your health care provider immediately.
1. Prenatal Yoga
Yoga has been proven beneficial for the physical and psychological state of the mother. Practicing prenatal yoga during pregnancy is known to provide relief from a backache, help maintain proper postures and cope with stress and anxiety faced during childbirth.
2. Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises target your pelvic muscles—the same muscles that help you through the process of birth. It is advised to practice kegel exercises in a sitting posture. To know where your pelvic muscles are, pretend that you are holding your pee—the muscles that get flexed are your kegel muscles. Hold your muscles for 10 seconds before relaxing—repeat the same exercise 10-15 times.
Pilates are a set of simple exercises, which provide relief from backaches and muscle tension and stiffness that women often complain of during pregnancy. These exercises concentrate on breathing techniques along with the movements that promote strength and flexibility.
4. Pregnancy Squats
Pregnancy squats strengthen the muscles, especially the pelvic floor muscles and the glut muscle that is your buttocks. Squats can be helpful during labor, encouraging your baby to descend down into the birth canal.
Caution: Avoid pregnancy squats if your baby is in a breech position after 30 weeks of pregnancy—squats may only push them down into the pelvis. Once your baby is in the optimal birth position you can safely commence the exercise.
5. Stretch Exercises
Stretch exercise during pregnancy loosens the muscles, makes the body flexible and increases the extent of motion, preparing you for the birth. Moms must take care not to jerk their body parts to a stretch—carry out the stretches slowly and stay in the posture for 10-20 second. Don’t forget to inhale and exhale deeply as you do the exercises.
6. Cardio Exercises
Cardio exercises increase the heart rate—however, it doesn’t mean you have to exert yourself by sweating profusely, which is absolutely not advisable. Skip exercises that involve jumping, running or kicking. Keep it low with mild aerobics or a brisk walk for 20 minutes.
7. Abdominal Exercises
Create a routine practicing these exercises—it can promote a good posture and provide stamina to the mother during delivery. Abdominal exercises also promote quick recovery after childbirth. Practice these exercises under the supervision of an expert who knows which exercises to skip and which ones are better for your body.
Lunges are good for your pelvic muscles and abdominal muscles. They also strengthen your knees and legs. Make sure to maintain a proper posture when doing a lunge—have an expert to guide you. Take a step forward and lunge on your knee, touching the other knee to the ground. Use a support if you are doing it in later months—keep your back straight throughout the routine.
9. Wall Push-ups
Wall push-up is an interesting exercise to strengthen your arm and leg muscles—it is mostly done in the first two trimesters. Keep your hands on the wall and incline towards it—push yourself back by exerting a slight force on your arms as if you are doing push-ups. Make sure you keep your back straight and your buttocks are in line with your back.
10. Cycling And Swimming
Cycling and swimming are another way to stay fit during pregnancy. Keep it slow and safe. Let your weight shift forward while you are cycling—don’t get tired prolonging it, keep it the fun and easy way.
Swimming may prove to be relaxing and will take off the extra weight giving you a sense of light-weightedness inside water. As an exercise, it will strengthen your muscles, remove fatigue, promote blood circulation, and provide relief from aches and pains.
Exercising during pregnancy becomes essential. However, be in your limits and carry them out safely. Listen to your body and avoid an exercise if you experience discomfort or pain doing it.