Your back is constantly aching, you are having trouble sleeping, and constipation and bloating are out of this world. In other words, you are expecting! While being pregnant is a very special, happy time, you may be wondering how you can reduce the pains and aches of pregnancy.
Exercise during pregnancy is an effective way of boosting your mood, reducing unpleasant symptoms, such as morning sickness, fatigue and constipation, and aiding postpartum recovery. There are many exercises that are safe and beneficial during pregnancy, but you need to get a go-ahead from your doctor before starting a new routine. Once that's done, lace up your sneakers and get going with these ten exercises that have been proven effective and safe.
If you have never exercised at all during your pregnancy, taking a quick stroll around your neighborhood is the best way to start. You will not produce too much impact on your ankles and knees, while still getting a cardiovascular exercise. The best part about walking when pregnant is that you do not require any equipment. You can walk almost anywhere and at any time of the day throughout your pregnancy. But you might need bigger shoes as your pregnancy progresses and your shoes feel tight. Also, make sure you walk on smooth surfaces during your last trimester and be on the lookout for obstacles and potholes.
Water aerobics and swimming are among the perfect pregnancy exercises you can consider. Since you weigh less in water, you tend to feel more agile and lighter than before, even if you are in your last trimester. Also, a dip in the swimming pool relieves puffy ankles, sciatic pain, and nausea. But you need to be careful when walking along the pool sides because they are slippery. Step into the water, as opposed to jumping or diving. The impact of diving is not suitable for your baby, especially as you grow bigger and your center of gravity changes.
Pilates works on your muscles and enhances flexibility without straining your joints during pregnancy. It will strengthen your posture and flexibility using breathing techniques. Pilates can be done on a mat at home or using some special equipment or at a gym with other pregnant women. Pilates strengthens your pelvic floor, which is crucial for recovery after birth and labor. Since the exercise strengthens the critical muscles, your body quickly deals with carrying the extra weight of your growing baby But, you should be careful with Pilates on your back during the second and third trimester. You can consult a qualified trainer or physician to change Pilates to suit your body at each trimester.
Want to do more than walking? An experienced runner can remain on track when pregnant. But you must stick to level terrain and avoid overdoing it, because your body loses its normal center of gravity as your bump grows, affecting your balance. Running is an excellent aerobic exercise that does not harm your baby ,but gives you a fit and healthy pregnancy. However, if you were not used to running or jogging before your pregnancy, it is not advisable to start running when pregnant. The loose joints and ligaments during pregnancy make jogging harder than before, which makes you prone to injury. Consequently, you can use a treadmill or running track in the gym.
6 Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises during pregnancy strengthen your muscles responsible for supporting the bowels, bladder and uterus. When you strengthen the muscles when pregnant, you develop the ability to control and relax muscles as you prepare for labor and childbirth. Kegel exercise is also a great way to exercise after delivery to encourage the recovery of perineal tissues. The workout assists muscles to return to a healthy state, enhance control of urine, and strengthen the pelvic floor. Avoid moving your leg, abdominal muscles, and buttocks when doing Kegel exercises. You can do at least five sets of Kegel exercises a day.
Yoga during pregnancy assists in maintaining flexibility and keeping your joints limber. Since yoga strengthens the muscle system, the exercise stimulates circulation, helping in relaxation. You can also use the techniques in your yoga classes to remain calm and have control during labor. Yoga for pregnant women builds strength and alleviates pain in your abdominals, back and legs. The exercise is an excellent choice to remain emotionally and physically fit throughout your pregnancy. You can choose the appropriate yoga pose based on how comfortable you are while doing this exercise. Many studios offer prenatal specific yoga courses.
Cycling during pregnancy is an effective low-impact aerobic exercise, especially if you have been cycling for months or years before the pregnancy. But you might have to tone down things down, primarily if you are used to cycling outdoors, to avoid falling off your bike. Your balance changes during your second and third trimester. Therefore, move to a stationary bike or indoor cycling immediately if you start feeling less stable than before. Indoor cycling is suitable for pregnant women because they can cycle at their own pace without the possibility of exerting pressure on the ankle and knee joints.
Dance workout classes are a perfect way of increasing the heart rate during pregnancy. Group dances like Zumba get the endorphins flowing for newbie exercisers. Dancing is a great way to avoid stress during pregnancy. However, you should avoid strenuous dances. You can join salsa classes, samba, ballroom dance or jazz, and enjoy dancing to your favorite music. These dance forms assist you in maintaining a fit body during your pregnancy. But you should get clearance from your doctor before starting your dance classes or sessions even at home, especially if you are a newbie. Dance for at least 20 or 30 minutes daily as you listen to your body. Remember to warm up first to prepare your muscles and joints before the exercise.
2 Weight Training
Lifting weights is an excellent exercise that prepares your body for the heavy lifting you will do after the arrival of your baby. Weightlifting exercises assist with counteracting the risks of injuries during pregnancy through strengthening muscles around your joints. However, it is wise to reduce the amount of weight as you progress through to the second and third trimester. But you can lift half-reduced amounts of weight and carry out more repetitions so that you can still get a perfect exercise. Also, do not lift weights while lying on your back and avoid straining your muscles and exerting dangerous amounts of pressure on the abdomen through lifting weights that are too heavy. Reduce the load right away if you are holding your breath.
1 Tai Chi
Tai Chi is an ancient exercise that can help pregnant women, as it entails slow movements that enables anyone at any level of flexibility to strengthen their bodies. Tai Chi reduces the risk of injury during pregnancy. The exercise is an effective method of dealing with stress during pregnancy and enhancing balance. Tai Chi is a gentle martial art that is low-impact, with its primary objective of enhancing your overall health and mental concentration. The slow movements during this exercise encourage your mind to be quiet, helping tune out stress and worry. What makes Tai Chai a practical and preferred workout during pregnancy is that it does not require unique clothing, skill, or equipment.