Have you always heard your mother say that exercise is dangerous for you during pregnancy? If you’ve then you need to know that that’s not true. Years of research has proven that regular workout during pregnancy won’t just help you stay healthy, but will also make labor so much more comfortable. The prenatal exercise can also assist in relieving much of the stress and common discomforts that pregnant women face and decrease fatigue and lethargy. In fact, evidence shows that physical activity and working out may even prevent gestational diabetes.
However, you need to remember that even though you can still work out as you were before you were pregnant, there are a few things you should take care of. Because of your center of gravity changes as move along in your pregnancy, there’re a few things you should stay wary of. The safety, as well as the effectiveness of your exercise, depends on the types you try, so make sure you know what you’re doing.
Prenatal Exercises to Try
Here are a few prenatal workouts you can try.
Walking: If you don’t want to get into anything fancy and would like to keep things simple yet active, start with 30 minutes of walking. If you weren’t walking before you were pregnant, then it is best to stick to 10 minutes a day for 3 to 5 times a week, so you don’t get exhausted. Remember to pick up the pace as you get used to it as this is what will help you build upper body strength. Make sure you walk on a trail that’s smooth and not bumpy or broken, so you don’t have to worry about falling and losing your center of gravity.
Running: If you want to take things a notch and are bored of taking a light stroll, try running for a change. However, running is recommended as a prenatal workout only if you were used to doing it before pregnancy because while it may not cause problems in the first trimester, it will be difficult when your belly gets bigger. You can continue running for the first few months if you were doing it before you were expecting but be careful not to strain yourself and if you’re running on a treadmill, be sure to install safety bars to prevent falls.
Prenatal Yoga: One of the most famous prenatal workouts is yoga. This type of exercise has gained quite a lot of popularity in the last few years because it doesn’t just help you build strength and balance, but also reduces blood pressure, teaches you correct breathing and keeps your muscles limber and active. Moreover, according to research, this exercise can also help prevent osteoporosis after you hit menopause. Though you should avoid lying on your back, backbends, and positions that require you to twist your midsection. Also, you must keep up with yoga especially if you were doing it before pregnancy.
Weight Training: If you’ve always been the sort of woman who hits the gym and works out every week, then you need to continue doing exactly that throughout your pregnancy too. Strength training is perfect for women who’re expecting because they help in building strength and prepare you to carry that extra weight around when your baby gets bigger. Though it’s not recommended that you pick heavy loads and do anything that requires you to lie on your back. You can lift free weights and work on machines.
Pilates: Another favorite of pregnant ladies is the Pilates. Though Pilates and yoga are remarkably similar because they both help you relax, Pilates is recommended when you want to relieve lower back pain, which is very common in pregnancy, and build balance. The main benefit of this workout is that it helps build core muscles and helps you strengthen your stability as you move along. As with yoga, avoid poses that require bending or twisting your belly and don’t lie on your back.
Swimming: Finally, though there are a lot of exercises you could be trying, one of the best ones is swimming. Because water is very soothing, this type of training won’t just help you in building core strength, but will also help you relax. Moreover, as opposed to other exercises, there is no fear of falling over, and if you’re already swimming, you can keep at it. Try water aerobics too as these are known to do a lot of good during pregnancy also.
Things to Remember
Now that you know the best workouts that you can try out when you’re pregnant, there’re a few things you need to be careful about as well. Remember that because pregnancy is a fairly sensitive time for you both physically and emotionally, you need to be sure not to do anything that harms you or the baby that’s about to light up your world.
Here are a few things you should do when planning a prenatal workout.
Always Talk to Your Physician First
Before you take up any new exercise or even decide to continue an old routine, you need to make it a priority to talk to your physician first. He’ll know the details about what you and cannot do. This is especially important for expecting moms with PCOS.
Make sure that you keep your GP updated about anything that you may be doing during the pregnancy. He might even give you a few guidelines that’ll help keep you safe and secure while you keep your body active and moving.
As with regular exercise, you need to keep yourself hydrated. Exercising is hard and challenging during pregnancy, and if you don’t want to burn out on the first day, you need to have plenty of fluids by your side.
Remember, water fuels your body. If you don’t like drinking plain water, then try out slightly flavored water and one which has electrolytes as this will not only keep your water intake up but will also replace the essentials you lose during your prenatal workout.
Don’t Exhaust Yourself
Too much of anything is bad. So, don’t exercise every day and don’t do it for more than 30 minutes. If you feel tired in 10 mins, then stop. Remember, your primary goal is to relax and build strength so it won’t do you any good if you become exhausted in the first round and can’t keep going. Experts recommend that you build up your stamina each day and start small to set goals that are achievable.
Who Shouldn’t Exercise
A few medical problems such as asthma, heart disease, and diabetes may prevent you from the prenatal workout, and you’ll need to talk to your GP before trying it out. A few pregnancy related issues where exercises should be avoided are:
- Recurrent miscarriages
- Low lying placenta
- Weak cervix
- Bleeding or spotting
- Previous history of premature births
Prenatal workouts can help you in more than one way. Not only are these workouts relaxing, but also do a lot for your core strength. So, try out the ones that suit you best, and you can thank us later.