Doing right kind of exercises can help a lot during pregnancy. Let us take a look at some exercises that can be practiced during pregnancy and the precautions that should be taken.
If you love yourself and want to gift a healthy life to your baby, you would not mind exercising in pregnancy. Exercises are the best ways to improve your posture and also reduce the common problems like backache or tiredness. You can also keep at bay problems like gestational diabetes with regular exercises. Since your body gets tired bearing the additional weight, it becomes important to increase stamina with exercises. Improved stamina shall help you deal with labour and delivery better.
If you have always been active physically, it is important to continue doing so with little modifications. Low impact exercises shall always be helpful and high impact ones must be strictly avoided. Pumping your heart shall mean better oxygen flow and blood to your little one inside.
In case you were never into exercises before, it is always better to begin with exercise programs specially designed for pregnancy. Swimming, walking is considered safe for pregnancy. However, remember not to exercise excessively and consult your doctor before starting your exercise regimen. If you have any complications, you must always get in touch with your doctor.
Practising Exercises during Pregnancy
Here are some exercises which can be practiced during pregnancy. Make sure that you seek approval of your doctor and practice these exercises only under a certified trainerâ€™s supervision.
Inner Thigh Stretch (Repeat 10 times)
Squat, and bend your knees outwards, with the soles of your feet touching fully, from the toes to the heels.
Hold your feet in this position with both hands and gently push your knees as far down as they go.
Leg Stretch (10 times)
Stretch your legs straight out in front of you.
Bend forward and try to touch your toes with your fingers, without bending the knees. Hold this position for about 7 seconds.
If possible, try and touch your head to your knees. (Remember, you can't bend 'em!)
Lower Back (10 times each leg)
Spread your legs about 3 feet apart.
Place your hands in the centre in front of you and move them as far ahead as possible.
Slowly move to one leg, stretching all the way.
Hold this position for about 5 seconds before moving to the centre again, and to the other leg.
Thighs and Waist (10 times each direction)
Sit up straight with your legs still apart, and slowly bend sideways, with the opposite arm over your head.
Thighs and Buttocks (10 times each leg)
Lie down on your left side with both legs stretched out straight.
Lift your right leg as high as possible, without bending the knee.
Bring it down and repeat.
Turn around on your right side and repeat the same movement with your left leg.
Stomach (5 times, to start off with, slowly increase to 10)
Lie down on your back and with your hands under the small of your back for support, lift up both your legs together, without bending your knees. Hold them at 90 degrees from the floor, for about 7 seconds.
Bring them down SLOWLY and hold them again for about 5 seconds when your legs are 45 degrees from the floor.
Bring them further down till they touch the floor. The movement of the legs is very slow in this exercise.
When You Must Not Exercise?
If you have any of the medical problems such as type 1 diabetes, heart disease and asthma, you may be advised to stay away from exercises. In these cases you may risk your pregnancy and also suffer from several complications:
Spotting or bleeding
You need to avoid aerobic exercises in case of the following:
If you suffer from any heart ailments
If your lungs are restricted
In case of incompetent cerclage or cervix
In case of regular bleeding in the second and the third trimester.
In case of ruptured membranes
In case of hypertension
In case of premature labour.
It is necessary you take precautionary measures in the following cases while exercising in pregnancy:
Heavy smoking or drinking habits
In case you lead a sedentary lifestyle
If you suffer from severe hypertension
If you are underweight or extremely obese
In case of orthopaedic limitations
In case of hyperthyroidism that is poorly controlled
If you are thinking of getting into an exercise program it is better to consult with your doctor first. He may offer you personalised guidelines depending on your medical history.
The Safe Exercises
While most of the exercises are considered safe, you need to be careful and ensure you are not overdoing anyone of them. Indoor bicycling, swimming, brisk walking are some of the safest possible options you can think of. You can also perform certain aerobics under the supervision of a certified trainer.
If you are interested in jogging and running you must exercise moderation. It is better to stick to activities that do not require you to balance too much.
Exercises to be Avoided
Since it is always important to be safe in pregnancy, here are some activities that you need to avoid in pregnancy. Let us take a look.
You must not try holding your breath for long in an activity or exercise.
You must not participate in tasks that increase the likelihood of falling.
Stay away from exercises or tasks like jarring motions and fast changes that might cause abdominal trauma.
Avoid bending your knees too much or raising your legs too fast.
Do not perform heavy exercises after long periods of almost no activity.
Avoid scuba diving.
Do not exercise in too humid or hot weather.
You must avoid high impact exercises and exercise only under the supervision of a certified trainer. It is always better to be safe during pregnancy and it is important to discuss your exercise regimen with your doctor and seek his or her approval.
Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy? What are the benefits of exercising during pregnancy? Which exercises should be avoided during pregnancy? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team