While pregnant, regular exercise is important for both mom’s and baby’s health. It helps maintain proper physical and mental health, decrease stress, improve posture, ease aches and pains, and prevent extreme fatigue. Evidence suggests exercise can potentially prevent certain adverse health conditions of the baby, as well. Plus, anything that offers more stamina and energy for mom when it’s time to deliver is a great thing!
Many types of exercises are appropriate for pregnant women. It’s necessary to always consult a doctor before starting or changing any physical routine. Certain movements like stomach crunches and jumping are not appropriate for pregnant bellies. A wide range of aerobic activities, stretching, and lifting is all right. However, exercise that is too strenuous can cause adverse effects, soit’s appropriate to find the right balance by introducing activities slowly, trying a range of new things, and seeing what works best.
A local convention for moms and babies will have a variety of comfortable, breathable workout gear to accommodate one’s exercise experience and properly fit an expecting mother’s physique. It’s a great place to find everything mom and baby, attend workshops and seminars to learn about topics like prenatal yoga or aqua-fit lessons, receive advice from vendors and experts, and meet other expecting parents and families. Ask other mothers which exercise routines they most enjoyed and which activities to avoid.
Some appropriate physical activities include, low impact aerobics, yoga, swimming, walking, indoor and outdoor cycling, step, or elliptical machines. Rowing machines are not appropriate due to the stress on one’s midsection. A regular classfor pregnant women is ideal because it is designed with the special needs of moms-to-be in mind and being guided through the proper positions and movements ensures everything is being performed properly.
Water aerobics are great because of the cushioning buoyancy that the water offers. Low impact routines led by a trained instructor are good for the heart and have no risk of falling. Joints and muscles are supported by the water, unlike the aches and strains that running on hard pavement could cause, for example. The regulated, cool temperature of the pool also helps prevent overheating. Note that bouncing in the water is okay, but please be advised not to jump or bounce outside of the water, as this is too harsh a movement for the baby.
Stretching is a great way to increase circulation and blood flow, maintain and improve flexibility and posture, and prevent day-to-day injuries.Bad posture can lead to back pain and some relief can be offered to swollen areas with a gentle but thorough stretching routine. This could be aninstructor-led prenatal yoga class, or it could be a set routine of simple stretches done around the home. This handy guide helps with several stretches for problem areas like the back, hips, and legs.
Remember to always consult a doctor when starting or altering physical activity levels, especially when pregnant and after giving birth. Always drink plenty of water, even when not exercising, to keep properly hydrated. A medical professional should also advise about an appropriate nutrition plan for an active, healthy pregnancy.
Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi is the founder of this blog where she shares her parenting and lifestyle experiences. She is an engineer and a trainer who works in the construction industry. She is the founder of Sihela Consultants.(www.sihelaconsultants.com)