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Safe 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 blood sugar.

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 Techniques:
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.

Kegel Exercises:
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 and feet. 
  • 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.  Relax completely.

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