Baby on board or not, exercise transforms your body way beyond weight control. A routine workout during pregnancy boosts mental health, strengthen muscles and bones, better sleep and increased energy level. Before you feel burdened over the gym, consider the many ways exercises may specifically be able to benefit you and your baby during pregnancy.
Benefit Of Exercise During Pregnancy
- Research shows that exercise during pregnancy may reduce the risk of premature delivery.
- Research shows an active mom’s developing baby has a much lower heart rate and a healthier birth weight.
- Exercising during pregnancy may lower the risk of depression and anxiety as your brain receives the calming chemicals like endorphins.
- Exercise may help lower the risk of gestational diabetes, which first happens during pregnancy and usually goes away afterwards. Up to 18% of expecting moms develop this kind of diabetes.
- A workout can help you maintain a healthy weight. Gaining too many pounds and gaining a little can hurt your baby’s growth.
- When pregnant moms workout regularly, a study says their toddlers had better language and motor skill development. Their teens performed better in sports and academics compared to those not exposed to exercise in utero.
- According to a report,exercise during pregnancy can reduce the need for cesarean deliveries
- Workouts during pregnancy can also help you bounce back to your pre-baby life more quickly.
1. The Power Of Yoga
Research shows that moms-to-be who regularly practice yoga may have a leg up during labour and delivery. Yoga strengthens core muscles, alleviate backaches, and helps you relax during the pregnancy. Prenatal Yoga prepares your body and mind for labour and delivery.
For the first-trimester practitioner advice Ustrasana (Camel Pose) and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) for Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward-Facing Bow Pose). In the second trimester, you can practice most yoga as long as you are comfortable and breathing deeply.
The third trimester is a challenge for yoga practice as balance is an issue with protruding belly. Yoga teachers advise Viparita Karani Mudra ((Legs-up-the-Wall Pose), Savasana (Corpse Pose) and Balasana (Child’s Pose).
Does the extra pound making you feel weighed down? Try swimming, one of the best exercises. You will feel weightless irrespective of your belly size. In fact, swimming can ease your back strain and sleep troubles.
It is an overall exercise that strengthens the core muscle and prevents the spine and shoulders from rounding forward. The weightlessness of the water can relieve sore joints and swollen ankles. Moreover, cool water helps you relieve pregnancy discomfort.
3. Indoor Cycling
You don’t have to stop cycling during pregnancy as long as you avoid roads with bumps and potholes. Cycling is a good way to boost your heart rate without stressing your bones and joints.
Indoor cycling is a great option, as it let you pedal at your own pace minus the stress of being on-road. As your belly grows, adjust the handlebars so you’re more upright and not leaning forward to avoid pressure on your lower back.
4. Brisk Walking
Walking is safe for the moms to be and something can be carried right up to delivery. Brisk walking works your heart and lungs, without stressing your knees and ankles.
Whether you’re on a treadmill, walking 10-20 minutes a day can safely help tone muscles and improve your mood. Keep your back straight and chin up to avoid any strain to your back.
5. Low-Impact Aerobics
Aerobics is a great way to increase your heart rate and get the endorphins flowing for a better mood. Aerobics keep your heart and lungs strong, tone your body all over, and give you a burst of endorphins, a feel-good brain chemical.
Low-impact aerobics and dance workout like Zumba reduces stress on the musculoskeletal system. During aerobics listen to your body, avoid jumping and stressing yourself to the point of exhaustion.
6. Weight Training
If you were lifting weights before pregnancy, chances are you can keep doing the light strength training. It will help you stay toned even after delivery.
Just opt for lower weight and short & multiple repetitions to reduce the chance of injury. Avoid any weight training that put unnecessary stress on your back.
Pilates is a great workout for the moms-to-be. Some research suggests that doing pilates regularly can be as effective as doing pelvic floor exercises. It strengthens your tummy, back and pelvic floor muscles without straining other joints.
Pilates helps to alleviate back pain, improve posture as well as your flexibility that helps during labour.8. High-intensity interval training workouts (HIIT)
HIIT is not for every expecting woman. The high-intensity workout involves more hardcore moves to get your heart rate up followed by periods of rest. It can be a little too intense to begin for the first time expecting mom.
But expecting moms who have already been practising HIIT before pregnancy can do it with a little modification that shut out jumping and jarring movements.
Kegel or pelvic floor exercises, are simple clench and release exercises. Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor that support the functioning of the uterus, bladder, rectum,& intestines.
It is highly recommended during the postpartum period to promote the healing of perineal tissues and increase the strength of the pelvic floor muscles and increase urinary control. Practitioner suggests 5 sets of Kegels a day. And the better part you can do Kegels anywhere.
Stretching is more of a warm-up exercise that relaxes muscles in your body. Stretching includes slow rotation & extension of your muscles from head to toe. It makes you more flexible and eases body aches and pains. You can stretch every day for 10-15 minutes to release stress.
11. Out Door Sports
If you were a regular tennis or badminton player, you don’t need to stop on your belly account just now. Avoid sudden movements and exertion later in the third trimester.
Tip To Remember
- Start off slowly. Begin with 5 to 10 minutes a day and gradually build up.
- Listen to your body. If you tired and short of breath, take a break and slow down the next time.
- Don’t exert yourself. Simply switch to stretching and strengthening exercises.
- Avoid exercise that requires jumping and swift movements. Jerking motion can make you lose your balance.
- Avoid overheating. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the workout.