You will stay healthy and fit if you perform certain exercises during pregnancy. The major ones among them are light aerobics, walking, swimming, mild weight training, kegels, etc. All these exercises help in strengthening the muscles of the uterus and increasing the elasticity of the birth channel. These exercises also help in keeping your body toned and energetic. They ease different types of soreness related with the condition. Thus, they serve as major means to counter the tiredness associated with weight gain during pregnancy. But you must be slow paced while exercising and abstain from over straining yourself. There are certain medical conditions too that prevent expecting mothers from performing a specific exercise.
Kegel exercises are specially designed to assist you in labor. Therefore, you can perform them throughout your pregnancy. Kegel exercises are immensely helpful in strengthening the pelvic muscles as well as the muscles of uterus, bladder and bowels. They help your body prepare for the child delivery and labor pain. Initially, you need to identify the correct muscles that you wish to exercise. Do this by stopping your urine half way while your bladder is full. Once you locate the muscles, contract and relax them a number of times. Your ideal should be 200 kegels per day. You can perform this exercise any time during the day. There is no medical restriction on Kegel exercises. But remember not to hold your urine very often as it creates pressure on the urinary bladder. These exercises also do not demand any lifestyle changes from a pregnant woman.
Pelvic floor exercises
The medical fraternity recommends pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy. They are helpful in providing endurance to the muscles of the lower back, abdomen and posterior portion. Therefore, you will get relief from back pain and indigestion which are linked with pregnancy. You can perform this exercise any time in a day and during any stage of pregnancy. There are no hard and fast rules on modifications in lifestyle, the physical condition of the woman performing them or her medical conditions. They also work as an emergency cure for sore backs.
You need to lie flat on the floor with your arms resting at the sides of your body. Now, fold your knees and bring your feet closer to your body. Lift your waist and hips above the ground and hold for a few seconds. Next, get back to the previous position again. Repeat the same pattern 50 times and then take a short break. Experts recommend that you must aim for 200 such repeats in a day. But you should increase the number of repetitions only gradually. The method should be 50 repetitions per set followed by a brief rest.
Tailor sitting exercises
This exercise prepares a pregnant woman to perform Kegel exercise correctly. It is recommended for every expectant mother. You can perform this exercise any time of the day. It is a natural way of sitting that strengthens the muscles of the thighs, lower back and abdomen. Therefore, sit on the mat spread evenly on the floor. Sit with your legs folded and knees placed on either side of your body. Your feet must meet each other and the knees must touch the ground. Initially, you will find it difficult to perform the posture correctly. Therefore, the suggestion is that you must not over strain yourself. With gradual and regular practice you will be able to do it perfectly. In case you suffer a muscle sprain, you must refrain from doing tailor sitting exercise for a short while. You do not need to adopt any specific lifestyle changes or precautionary measures while performing this exercise.
Doctors recommend that a pregnant woman should walk regularly during pregnancy. Walking increases your mobility and helps you stay energetic through the phase. It also eases knee soreness and waist pain associated with pregnancy. Walking can be done by every pregnant woman, irrespective of physical structure and medical conditions. It is safe to continue walking throughout the nine months of pregnancy. But, in case you have faced repeated miscarriages before, a medical consultation is necessary before you start walking. You must walk briskly for fifteen minutes to half an hour every day. Walking can be done any time of the day. Ensure that you are properly shod while walking. Carry a bottle of drinking water with you and wear a pair of sneakers as you walk. This footwear works as a shock absorber and prevents knee injury. Water helps you to counter chances of dehydration due to excessive sweating.
Health care providers remark that swimming is extremely advantageous for pregnant women. It functions as a full body exercise. And, it renders benefits for both the large muscle groups of the body, such as the arms and legs. Together with these, swimming also provides cardiovascular benefits to the expectant mother. Moreover, on occasions of weight gain during pregnancy, you will experience a virtual feeling of weightlessness during swimming. Swimming can be done in the evening as well as in the morning as there is no specific time for the exercise. It is recommended for every pregnant woman who knows how to swim.
But, swimming in the first two months and the last two months of pregnancy should be avoided or else it can be detrimental for the baby inside the womb. While swimming, you must prioritize upon freestyle and butterfly strokes as they render overall exercise for the arms and the legs. Moreover, the water pool where you swim must also be chlorinated and disinfected to avoid water related contamination. Wear maternity swim suits during swimming for comfort.
Doctors always suggest that light aerobic exercises are extremely effective during pregnancy. These exercises expel toxins from the body, and give strength and flexibility. They also prevent the heavy feeling due to weight gain in pregnancy. These exercises do not demand any specific time slot. So, you can opt for any time you find favorable. Light aerobics include hand and leg coordinated movements, light dancing and stretching. These exercises are easy to follow and you can continue doing the same throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Fifteen minutes to half an hour everyday is the recommended duration. You must increase the duration gradually to avoid over straining. In the initial stages, you must seek the advice of the instructor at the prenatal exercise class to perform the exercises correctly.
This is more of a therapy than a mere exercise. There are various forms of yoga that render different benefits during pregnancy. Yoga exercises help in toning the muscles and rendering flexibility. You can perform different yoga postures throughout the three trimesters of pregnancy. But ensure that you are doing them correctly. There is a specially recommended yoga posture for every pregnant woman. Some of the recommended ones are lotus posture, rabbit posture, tree posture, etc. You must find one that is best suited to you. Therefore, it is recommended that you seek the help of a professional yoga practitioner in the initial phases.
The best time to do yoga exercises is in the morning, preferably on an empty stomach. But you can also perform yoga in the evening with a minimum gap of two to four hours in between meals. Wear loose cotton clothes and pay attention to your breathing pattern while performing each posture. Yoga exercises are recommended for every pregnant woman, irrespective of physical structure and medical history.
Pregnancy is a phase where weight gain is inevitable. You will only be able to prevent your skin from sagging due to this sudden weight gain if you continue doing weight training. Women who were already doing weight training exercises can continue doing so. But you must opt for much lighter weights now. Those who are planning to perform weight training exercises must restrict it to once or twice a week during pregnancy. In general, weight training should be restricted to three days maximum in a week during pregnancy with a day’s gap in between. Experts recommend that you must not over strain yourself during this period. If you experience muscular sprains or a sudden pain during weight training, then this exercise should be discontinued.
Doctors all over the world recommend that squatting is a helpful exercise during pregnancy. It is a relaxed position of sitting that exerts pressure on the uterus. This helps in shortening of the birth channe. During pregnancy, you are expected to start off with squatting during the primary stages of the first trimester. You can continue doing squatting irrespective of your physical constitution and medical condition. Perform it any time of the day, as per your convenience. Changes in lifestyle or any precautionary measures are also not required at all when you intend to do squatting. Begin the exercise by standing on the floor with your legs spread wide apart. Now, fold your knees and tuck your hips. At the final stage, stoop forward and squat. Hold the position for 30 seconds and release. Repeat the steps as many times as you wish. In case you find it difficult to perform the exercise without support, take the help of your kitchen counter top or an exercise ball.