Regular exercise is extremely beneficial for the human body as it helps in building muscles and keeps the body in shape. Pregnancy exercises are equally crucial and allow the woman to be prepared for labor and the event of childbirth. The right amount and right kind of exercise during pregnancy can also allow the woman to prevent excessive weight gain and enable her to get back in shape after childbirth.
Benefits of Pregnancy exercises
A woman’s body undergoes many changes during pregnancy. Pregnancy exercise allow the woman to feel more in control of her body. These exercises also allow for increased energy levels in the woman and consequently the woman feels much better. Exercises can also help in tackling problems like backaches and constipation.
Exercises can improve the posture of the body and strengthen the muscles in the back, thighs and the butt. Body joints wear down in pregnancy and exercises prevent excessive wear and tear of these joints. Pregnancy exercise also improve blood circulation and this gives the woman a beautiful and healthy glow. Proper exercising can allow the woman to feel more at ease during the time of actual delivery.
Some research studies also indicate that pregnancy exercises help reduce risks and complications of gestational diabetes and even preeclampsia. Regular exercising will make it much easier for a woman to lose weight after the child is born.
Factors to be considered before exercising
Before starting on any exercise routine during pregnancy it is important to determine if the pregnancy is normal or if it is a complicated pregnancy. Likewise it is important to take into consideration the exercise regime that was followed before the pregnancy. Around 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week is recommended for healthy women.
Any exercise routine should be gradually started. Start with as low as 5 minutes of exercise everyday and then gradually build it up. Wear comfortable clothes while doing pregnancy exercises and drink plenty of fluids so as to avoid dehydration.
Exercising should be limited if the woman has high blood pressure problem which is induced by pregnancy. Likewise in the event of early contractions and vaginal bleeding exercises should be undertaken only after medical consultation.
Do not exercise outdoors particularly in warm temperatures. Likewise avoid those exercises that require the woman to lie on her back during the first trimester. Also avoid activity that includes leaping, sudden changes in direction and excessive movement. Some activities that should be avoided include horseback riding, contact sports, downhill skiing and scuba diving.
Some Simple Pregnancy Exercises
Most experts recommend regular walking. Walking at a moderate to brisk pace for around a mile thrice a week can prove to be good activity for pregnant women. You can vary the pace so that you feel comfortable during the work out. Irrespective of the pregnancy exercise being followed it is important to listen to the warning signs of the body. In case of fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, pain in the back or pelvic region and vaginal bleeding immediately stop the exercise and seek medical attention. Kegel exercises are rather popular and though the effects of these can’t be seen from outside they can help in reducing incontinence or leaking of urine during pregnancy. This leakage of urine is caused because of the baby’s weight or pressure on the urinary bladder.
Kegel exercises require the woman to squeeze the muscles of the vagina for a few seconds and then relax. The idea is to imagine you are trying to stop the flow of urine. Alternatively you can place a finger in the vagina and squeeze the muscles so that the tightness can be felt. While doing the Kegel exercises it is important that other muscles such as those in the stomach and legs are not tightened at the same time. The breath should not be held while doing these exercises. Likewise the Kegel exercises should not be attempted while actually urinating as this can prevent the bladder from completely emptying. Some other pregnancy exercises include light stretching, neck rotation, shoulder rotation and ankle rotation.