How to stay fit during pregnancy
Exercise can work wonders during pregnancy. It helps you improve your sleep quality and lifts your mood during the day. It helps you to carry the weight you put on during pregnancy. And it goes a long way to keep the body flexible and reduce the aches and pains that come with pregnancy. There is evidence to suggest that it could also prevent gestational diabetes and most of all, exercise prepares your body physically for the ultimate challenge- enduring labor and childbirth. The benefits of exercise do not stop here. If you’ve been exercising well through your pregnancy, you’re also likely to get back in form faster than you imagined.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant women can exercise for at least 30 minutes a day for most of the week. However, you should always consult your healthcare provider, before you embark on any pregnancy fitness regime- since as you grow bigger with the rolling months, certain exercises may no longer be advisable.
Walking: Walking is one of the most beneficial and easy pregnancy exercises that you can do throughout your pregnancy. You can do it anywhere, anytime- a good pair of supporting shoes is all you need. Light jogging is also fine, but as you go deeper into your pregnancy, walking remains the safest form of cardiovascular exercise.
Swimming: This is one of the best exercises to include into your pregnancy fitness plan. Swimming helps you keep the muscles of your arms and legs fit while also providing cardiovascular benefits. Most interestingly, it allows you to experience the feeling of weightlessness- so what if you have a bulge around your middle?!
Low-impact aerobics: Light aerobic exercises help you relax, while strengthening your heart and keeping your body fit. Join a class, and enjoy the experience with other expecting mothers like you!
Dance: Except dance that involves a lot of jumps, twirls or leaps, light dancing to your favorite tunes is something that’s very beneficial and can also easily be done from the comfort of your home.
Pregnancy exercises: Flexibility and Strength training
Yoga: Yoga and certain breathing exercises can rejuvenate you and boost you with an extra dose of energy all day through. However, either practice under a trainer or consult your trainer to find out which postures are right for you. Not all yoga postures are advisable during pregnancy. Plus, you also need to double up with walking or swimming to complete your regimen.
Stretching exercises: Adding stretching to your cardiovascular exercise is just the right way to round up your fitness plan.
Weight Training: Just be careful about the amount of weight you’re lifting and go slow- weight training is an excellent way to tone and strengthen your muscles.
Exercises to avoid during pregnancy
Here are some exercises to avoid during pregnancy:
- Skiing, Horse-riding and activities that carry the risk of falling.
- Football, basketball, volleyball and other contact sports that run the risk of hitting your bump.
- Excessive hopping, jumping or bouncing/running type activities
Pregnancy Fitness guidelines
- Wear loose comfortable clothes and a pair of good support shoes.
- Exercise on a flat level surface.
- Exercise at least one hour after you’ve finished eating.
- Take care to supplement your exercise regimen with the required calorie intake.
- Drink enough water.
- Don’t over-exercise.
- Get up slowly and gradually after you’re done doing floor exercises, to avoid dizziness.