Exercising when you are pregnant is very important. It keeps you active, boosts your energy and prepares you for labour and delivery. It also helps you in getting back to normal shape after delivery. However, you need to be careful with the kind of exercises and duration when you are in the third trimester.
Do not lift any heavy weights as they may put pressure on the tendons and ligaments, which become tender in the last stage of pregnancy. If at any time, you feel uncomfortable or dizzy, stop immediately. Always consult your physician before you start on the following exercises.
A 10 minute walk three times a day should be adequate in the third trimester. It helps in strengthening knees and ankles and prepares the body to deal with the increased weight during pregnancy.
Swimming is one of the best and safest exercises for your arms and legs, and for your heart and lungs. It helps in easing back pain and swelling in the legs. It makes you feel lighter even after the weight gain. However, swimming may not be suitable for those with high risk pregnancy. So, it is always better to consult your doctor before starting swimming exercise during pregnancy.
Yoga is one of the best and oldest forms of exercise during pregnancy. It helps to relieve your stress, tone your muscles, stay flexible and relaxed. However, you need to consult your doctor before practising yoga during pregnancy. At the same time it is also necessary to practice it under a certified yoga instructor.
As you approach the last stage of pregnancy, you experience cramps, backaches and swollen ankles. Stretching helps you a long way in keeping the muscles flexible and relaxed. Thus, the increasing weight is handled more comfortably. After a workout or when you feel the need to relax, try doing shoulder stretch, chest stretch, back stretch, butterfly stretch, neck stretch and ankle rotation. However, do not over stretch your body and muscles. Do consult your doctor and practice it under expert’s supervision.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor (which stretches from the back to the front of your body) bears the weight of your body, and maintains your bowel and bladder control. However, during pregnancy, increased weight can cause it to become weak and over-burdened. Thus, exercising to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles is very important. At the same time it is necessary to consult your doctor before starting any pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy and expert’s guidance is also required while practising it.
Kegel exercise is a pelvic floor exercise. Start doing one kegel in a day. Gradually increase it to 3-4 kegels in a row three times a day, and then to 10 kegels in a row three times a day. Initially, do it for a slow count of 5 seconds and then relax for 10 seconds and gradually increase the hold period to 10 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest. You can also try doing quick flick kegal, short intermittent contractions (around 10 times) where you need to squeeze and lift the pelvic floor muscles very quickly.
Remember not to overdo it as it may make your pelvic floor muscles too strong and tight preventing you from pushing the baby effectively for birth.
To understand this exercise properly, consult a professional and your doctor.
Just like other exercises, you must do squats during pregnancy after consulting your doctor and under the supervision of a certified trainer. Squats prepare you for labour as it helps in opening your pelvic outlet and helps to descend baby deep in to your pelvis. Squats in your last stage of pregnancy will make it easier for you to squat during labour for easy delivery.
Exercising during pregnancy has various advantages, especially when you are in your last stage of pregnancy. It helps in making your body flexible, eases the sore pains and keeps you relaxed. It is recommended to consult your doctor when you start exercising or join any classes.
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- The Indiaparenting Team