You’ll agree that there’s no better way to stay in shape than exercising. However, when it comes to exercising during pregnancy, there is a lot of misconception doing the rounds. Much has changed over the decades and recent research shows that exercise during pregnancy is a must and has a positive effect on both, the mother and the baby. In fact, a fitness program is the best way for both the mother and her baby to stay in shape and enjoy an overall state of wellness before, during and after birth.
However, it is important, to discuss your exercise routine with your doctor who may modify it and suggest a few changes, if necessary. The level of exercise recommended for you will depend a great deal on your pre-pregnancy fitness. And depending on your condition, you may be advised to limit or stop exercising. If you’re healthy and the doctor has given you the green signal, you can exercise right till the end.
The Best Exercises During Pregnancy
Most common exercises are considered safe for most pregnant women, though you may have to vary the pace and intensity according to your physical condition. Here are a few that you could try:
I’s the most recommended exercise for pregnant women as it keeps you fit without straining the knees and ankles. Probably the best cardiovascular exercise, walking is safe throughout the nine months of pregnancy and can be built into your daily schedule.
Considered the safest exercise for pregnant women, swimming is ideal as it exercises both large muscle groups (arms and legs), provides good cardiovascular benefits, and lends a feeling of weightlessness despite the extra weight of pregnancy.
Very popular among pregnant women worldwide, water aerobics is gentle on the joints and can help lessen swelling in the legs, which is common during the later stages of pregnancy.
Yoga is ideal for maintaining muscle tone and flexibility with minimum impact on the joints – and has been found to be highly beneficial during pregnancy. But you may have to supplement a yoga regime with walking, a few times a week, to give your heart a workout.
Joining a prenatal aerobics class can do wonders for your health and overall well being as besides a consistent exercise routine, you will also get to meet other pregnant women.
Running or Jogging
If you were a runner before you were pregnant, you can continue running during your pregnancy, although you may have to modify your routine. Increase the pace gradually – go slowly for the first 5 minutes to warm up and use the last 5 minutes to cool down.
A combination of flexibility and strength training with body awareness, breathing and relaxation, ‘pilates’ are a form of workout that exercises your stomach and pelvic floor muscles. As ‘pilates’ are performed on a “hands and knees” position, it exercises the right muscles for pregnancy. It helps take the stress off your back and pelvis and towards the end of your pregnancy, it helps position your baby for delivery.
A fun way to get your heart pumping by dancing to your favourite tunes in the comfort and privacy of your home. But take care not to leap, jump, or twirl and avoid sudden twists. You could sign up for a prenatal dance class and enjoy the camaraderie of other pregnant women too.
Tips & Tricks
If you water bag breaks, stay calm and call your gynaec. Wear a sanitary pad to protect your clothes and on the way to the hospital, use a plastic sheet to prevent the car seat from getting soiled.
Before buying a home pregnancy test kit, be sure to check the expiry date. For accurate results, take the test after one week after the missed period; testing very early, can give you negative results.
Dry fruits are a rich source of iron and contain high dietary fibre. They also meet your nutritional needs during pregnancy