The crowning period of a woman’s life starts when she is expecting. Movement of life inside constructs a joy of impending motherhood. Alongside, it weaves a labyrinth of feelings & concerns about the approaching birth pangs and delivery. In conjunction with a wholesome diet & periodic check-ups, what else can help you and your baby to stay healthy and feel best? It is an exercise regime.
Why is exercise important during pregnancy?
Being active during pregnancy fosters medically evidenced rewards for a mother and baby. Studies have shown that exercising mothers undergo normal weight gain, feel less tired, suffer fewer back pains, are 30% less prone to gestational diabetes and may have a short labor. As for babies, they develop healthy neurological, heart & immune systems and gain normal birth weight.
Fueling fitness to mother and baby
Following are the suggestive physical activities to foster health during pregnancy. Start them in consultation with your obstetrician.
Exercise in early pregnancy helps to sideline usual discomforts like morning sickness & upset stomach. Start exercising for 15-30 minutes while taking care to rest when you need to. Set up a routine for the following moves and pursue them 3-5 times a week.
- Relaxed walking while slowly picking up the pace.
- Hit the pool for swimming & water fun. The risk of falling is outdone and water is pacifying. Be careful not to twist your body.
- Pregnancy yoga under the guidance of an expert (Follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_ReOeY4GiU )
- Pilates (once a week) can help in lower back pain and building strength. (For pilates, refer the following links : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFYj6EGSYD8 ,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd_zCF-0q0Q )
As you start to settle in the phase, early manifestations bid farewell giving way to new shifts like lower back discomfort, pubic pain, swelling, etc. Choose the following drills:
- Squats: With your arms extended at the shoulder level, breathe out as you go down and in as you rise. It helps to improve posture and reduce backaches.
(Refer here for safe squatting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXcF2eC20Q )
- Planks help to empower your arms and back. Lie down on your hands and knees. Slowly lift your body while keeping your legs straight and forearms resting. The position should make a straight line from head to ankles. Stay for 2-3 breaths and repeat 4-5 times.
- Lightweight lifting can strengthen the arm muscles and shoulders. Sit firmly on a strong chair holding a 5-8 pound weight in each hand. Bend your elbows to make a 90-degree angle with the arms. Lift the weight towards the shoulder, down and repeat.
A moderate physical workout of 30 minutes is helpful with increased rest & relaxation. The lung capacity decreases and one may experience swelling and aches. Stay hydrated and practice the following with reduced intensity:
- Water exercises help in relieving lower back pain and give you a refreshing change. Try back floating in water for a few minutes while breathing slowly. You can also stretch your legs in the pool.
- Yoga postures like cat and dog pose can be beneficial to reduce pains and increase flexibility.
- Squats can still be followed if there is no discomfort in the pubic area.
- Walking is the safest, and convenient. It reduces stress & increases the chances of normal delivery.
For core exercises during pregnancy, refer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stDKLeg9dpI
A regular workout regime can foster a connection with your body, which is quite essential during pregnancy.