Exercises during Pregnancy
What kinds of exercises
are considered safe during pregnancy
There are 4 kinds of exercises that
are particularly beneficial for a pregnant mother. These are aerobics,
calisthenics, relaxation techniques and Kegel exercises.
Aerobics are repetitive, rhythmic
activities and include exercises like walking, jogging, swimming and bicycling.
A word of caution: You should avoid uphill or strenuous bicycling so that
there is no extra pressure on the uterus. You should also avoid swimming
in public pools or pools with suspect hygiene condition in order to limit
the risk of vaginal infections.
Aerobics stimulate the heart, lungs,
muscle and joint activities, producing beneficial all round changes. They
enhance the efficiency of circulation, increase muscle tone and strength,
and build endurance. They help in burning calories, reducing fat
and also giving a good night's sleep. They may also help in controlling
Calisthenics are essentially rhythmic,
light gymnastic movements of the body. They are ideal for the expectant
mother since they help in promoting physical and mental well-being, as
well as preparing your body for labour and childbirth. They also
help in relieving backaches, improving posture and toning muscles.
Relaxation exercises increase body
awareness and focus, and help the expectant mother relax her mind and body.
They also help the mother to conserve energy and prepare her body for the
ordeal of childbirth.
Kegels tone the pelvic muscles and
strengthen the vagina and perineum for delivery. They also help in
quick postpartum (after childbirth) recovery.
What relaxation techniques
are helpful during pregnancy
Lie on your back with your head on the
cushion and your lower legs raised on a chair. Close your eyes and relax
for 10-15 minutes. This exercise will also help relieve swollen ankles
Lie on your side and keep a pillow underneath
your head. Bend your upper arms and legs upwards, placing a pillow
under this knee. Keep your lower leg straight. Close eyes and
clear your mind. Breathe in and count to 10. Breathe out slowly.
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