Let us take a look at the
concerns of a pregnant women related to safety of exercise during
exercise safe during pregnancy?
the pregnancy is progressing normally, the answer is yes. Continuing
any sport or mild form of exercise should not be a problem, as long as it is
done in moderation. In fact, moderate exercise is good for you as well as the
As long as you do not overstrain yourself, exercise
can be a physically and emotionally satisfying and safe experience.
It serves to increase energy levels and alleviates problems like leg cramps,
backaches, constipation and breathlessness and prepares you for
labour. It will also help in keeping you in a perfect state of
health. But before you hit the track, do get a medical clearance from
your doctor, since he is most informed about your condition. If you
are in a high-risk category, he will certainly restrict your
Can exercises cause any harm to the baby?
(Dr. Rita Shah)
Many exercises are
not safe during pregnancy. Before undertaking any rigorous exercise,
make sure that they do not put excessive strain on the uterine
muscles. Exercises conducted in the childbirth/Lamaze classes are
specially planned to suit the pregnant mother.
What kind of exercises should one totally
Any exercise that involves
lifting weights or imposes excessive physical exertion, such as horse riding,
skiing, skin diving and backpacking, should be completely avoided.
Jogging is very hard on the spine, pelvis, hips, knees, breasts and back and
should also be avoided. Exercises that pull your abdominal muscles,
like leg lifts and sit-ups, are also not advisable during pregnancy.
Further, do not try your hand at any new sport once you get pregnant; your body
needs time to adjust to new movements.
After the 4th month,
do not exercise while lying flat on your back, as the weight of your uterus can
compress major blood vessels, and restrict circulation. Pointing or
extending your toes can also lead to cramping; it is better to flex your feet
Which exercise is
Generally, it is believed that
light form of exercise with which your body is accustomed to is right for you.
However, you should talk to your doctor or midwife and let her know what you
are doing. You can also join exercise classes especially designed for pregnant
women. Make sure that you learn pregnancy exercises from a certified trainer.
walking, gardening or doing household chores also count as exercise. But make
sure that you do not do strenuous chores which involve lifting heavy weights.
Walking is considered as one of the best exercises during pregnancy. Walking
for 30 to 45 minutes a day is more than
Which safety precautions should be
Practice only those exercises
which are safe to be practiced during pregnancy. You must seek your doctor’s
approval before practising such exercises and practice them only under the
supervision of an expert. Have a quick look at the safety
When you are doing any exercise in
water like swimming, make sure the temperature of the pool is not more than 26
or 28 degrees.
Make sure your breathing remains
normal throughout the exercise regime.
Avoid holding your breath and
straining yourself. This will affect your blood pressure and can also put
pressure on pelvic floor as well as abdominal muscles.
Always balance activity and rest
during pregnancy. Listen to your body’s call and never overdo especially when
it comes to exercise. Keep the exercise at moderate level.
Drink plenty of water especially
before, during and after the workout. Keep a bottle full of water while
exercising. This will prevent you from getting dehydrated.
Avoid exercising in high heat or
Pay attention to your diet and get
enough calories all through the day.
Wear right clothes – breathable
and comfortable especially while exercising. Make sure your maternity bra is
comfortable and fits well.
If you are not used to exercising
daily, it is advisable to start with low pace and under proper guidance after
consulting your doctor.
Warm up before exercising. This
will get your muscles and joints ready for exercising. It will also build up
your heart rate slowly and reduce any kind of risks.
Do not forget the cool down
session. Walk on the place, stretch and relax after the exercise is over. This
will help your heart beat to get back to normal gradually.
Any kind of sudden improvement
like getting up from floor or moving sideways should be avoided and done very
Always remember, you are working
out and not punishing your body. So, if you feel like stopping or going slow,
listen to your body.
During pregnancy, you should
completely avoid bouncing, quick change of direction and activities which might
make you fall or get hurt. All kinds of adventure and vigorous sports should be
completely avoided while you are pregnant.
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- The Indiaparenting Team