You can exercise normally while pregnant, but there are some important things you should know first. It’s important to stay active during pregnancy, but you should take precautions when exercising. Learn how to safely exercise while pregnant
You can exercise during pregnancy, but you’ll want to make sure you talk with your doctor about what’s appropriate for you. You should exercise as much as you can during pregnancy, but there are some things you need to be aware of. For example, it’s important to be cautious about the amount of weight you lift during pregnancy. You should talk with your doctor about what activities you can safely continue and how much weight you should lift when moving furniture or doing chores around your home.
Women should exercise regularly throughout their pregnancy. It helps them to stay fit and healthy and also prevents complications such as hypertension, gestational diabetes and pre-term labor. However, it is important to modify workouts to meet the changing needs of your body and to avoid injury or harm to your baby. When exercising in early pregnancy, women can jog for about 20 minutes at a brisk pace about five times per week. As pregnancy progresses, you’ll have to cut back on the frequency of runs and the length.
What Happens To Fetus During Exercise
If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness while exercising, lay flat on your back and raise one foot off the floor. If these symptoms don’t go away after a few minutes, contact your health care provider. Fetus is affected by the mother’s exercise. Exercise during pregnancy can cause negative side effects for the fetus. The mother’s body needs to adjust and deal with both the baby and stress of physical activity, so women need to consider the risks before doing any exercises during pregnancy.
Pregnancy might seem like the perfect time to sit back and relax. You likely feel more tired than usual, and your back might ache from carrying extra weight.
But unless you’re experiencing complications, sitting around won’t help. In fact, pregnancy can be a great time to get active — even if you haven’t exercised in a while.
Why exercise during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, exercise can:
- Reduce backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling
- Boost your mood and energy levels
- Help you sleep better
- Prevent excess weight gain
- Promote muscle tone, strength and endurance
Other possible benefits of following a regular exercise program during pregnancy may include:
- A lower risk of gestational diabetes
- Shortened labor
- A reduced risk of having a C-section
Pregnancy and exercise: Getting the OK
Before you begin an exercise program, make sure you have your health care provider’s OK. Although exercise during pregnancy is generally good for both mother and baby, your doctor might advise you not to exercise if you have:
- Some forms of heart and lung disease
- Preeclampsia or high blood pressure that develops for the first time during pregnancy
- Cervical problems
- Persistent vaginal bleeding during the second or third trimester
- Placenta problems
It may also not be safe to exercise during pregnancy if you have any of these other complications:
- Preterm labor during your current pregnancy
- A multiple pregnancy at risk of preterm labor
- Premature rupture of the membranes
- Severe anemia
Pacing it for pregnancy
For most pregnant women, at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise is recommended on most, if not all, days of the week.
Walking is a great exercise for beginners. It provides moderate aerobic conditioning with minimal stress on your joints. Other good choices include swimming, low-impact aerobics and cycling on a stationary bike. Strength training is OK, too, as long as you stick to relatively low weights.
Remember to warm up, stretch and cool down. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, and be careful to avoid overheating.
Intense exercise increases oxygen and blood flow to the muscles and away from your uterus. In general, you should be able to carry on a conversation while you’re exercising. If you can’t speak normally while you’re working out, you’re probably pushing yourself too hard.
Depending on your fitness level, consider these guidelines:
- You haven’t exercised for a while. Begin with as little as 10 minutes of physical activity a day. Build up to 15 minutes, 20 minutes, and so on, until you reach at least 30 minutes a day.
- You exercised before pregnancy. You can probably continue to work out at the same level while you’re pregnant — as long as you’re feeling comfortable and your health care provider says it’s OK.
Activities to approach with care
If you’re not sure whether a particular activity is safe during pregnancy, check with your health care provider. Consider avoiding:
- Any exercises that force you to lie flat on your back after your first trimester
- Scuba diving, which could put your baby at risk of decompression sickness
- Contact sports, such as ice hockey, soccer, basketball and volleyball
- Activities that pose a high risk of falling — such as downhill skiing, in-line skating, gymnastics, and horseback riding
- Activities that could cause you to hit water with great force, such as water skiing, surfing and diving
Other activities to avoid include:
- Exercise at high altitude
- Activities that could cause you to experience direct trauma to the abdomen, such as kickboxing
- Hot yoga or hot Pilates
If you do exercise at a high altitude, make sure you know the signs and symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headache, fatigue and nausea. If you experience symptoms of altitude sickness, return to a lower altitude as soon as possible and seek medical care.
You’re more likely to stick with an exercise plan if it involves activities you enjoy and fits into your daily schedule. Consider these simple tips:
- Start small
- You don’t need to join a gym or wear expensive workout clothes to get in shape. Just get moving. Try a daily walk through your neighborhood or walk the perimeter of the grocery store a few times. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Find a partner. Exercise can be more interesting if you use the time to chat with a friend. Better yet, involve the whole family.
- Try a class. Many fitness centers and hospitals offer classes, such as prenatal yoga, designed for pregnant women. Choose one that fits your interests and schedule.
Listen to your body
As important as it is to exercise, it’s also important to watch for signs of a problem. Stop exercising and contact your health care provider if you have:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Increased shortness of breath before you start exercising
- Chest pain
Other warning signs to watch for include:
- Painful uterine contractions that continue after rest
- Fluid leaking or gushing from your vagina
- Calf pain or swelling
- Muscle weakness affecting balance
A healthy choice
Regular exercise can help you cope with the physical changes of pregnancy and build stamina for the challenges ahead. If you haven’t been exercising regularly, use pregnancy as your motivation to begin.
While exercise offers various benefits, the effect of exercise on a fetus is still under debate. Based on some studies, it seems that moderate to low impact exercise before 20 weeks gestation may be beneficial for pregnant women. However, if exercise is undertaken after 20 weeks, it is recommended to avoid strenuous exercise and activities that increase heart rate significantly.
Exercise during pregnancy is safe, but it’s very important to pay attention to your body and stay within your limits. Follow these guidelines to ensure a healthy pregnancy: Fetuses are unable to regulate their temperature when they are born, so they rely on the mother’s body temperature to keep warm. The mother’s body temperature can increase during exercise, which can be dangerous for the fetus.
Pregnant women who exercise to the point of breathlessness are more likely to have a premature or low-birthweight baby than those who limit their activities.
Which Month To Start Exercise During Pregnancy
While exercising is important for all women, especially during pregnancy, it’s also important to start working out at the right time. If you wait too long to begin your training routine, you may risk falling behind on your prescribed exercise program, or worst case scenario, injuring yourself. This post will tell you what month you should start exercising during pregnancy, in order to avoid any danger or falling behind on your routines.
Doing a warm-up helps prepare your body for a workout by making the muscles flexible and reducing stiffness.
- Head tilt, both sides – A set of ten repetitions
- Head nodding, (up & down) – A set of ten repetitions
- Head rotations (both directions) – 1 set of five repetitions
- Arm swing rotations (clockwise and anti-clockwise) – A set of ten repetitions
- Shoulder rotation movements (clockwise and anti-clockwise) – A set of ten repetitions.
First Trimester Pregnancy Exercises For a Normal Delivery
The first trimester (initial three months) is the most vulnerable period and mothers are advised to avoid any tiring activity, which includes lifting heavy weights, extreme cardio or high-intensity workouts. Gentle exercises are permissible, but only after consulting your doctor.
1. Wall Slide
This exercise is helpful in stabilising your spine and lower abdomen when you experience a backache.
- Stand with your back against the wall. Bring your feet to the front, away from the wall.
- Now, slowly drop your waist so that your thighs are parallel to the floor as if you are sitting on an invisible chair.
- Raise your hands above your head and rest them against the wall. Now, slowly pull them down on either side of your head, like you would during a shoulder-press. Repeat for ten counts.
2. Clam Shell
This exercise helps tone the muscles, abs, thighs, buttocks and pelvic floor. As your tummy grows through pregnancy, it is advised to do this exercise with your back against the wall.
- Start by lying on the floor by your side with flexed knees and an arm below your head and the other supporting your body by touching the ground. Keep your heels one on top of another.
- Press your heels together and elevate your leg to the maximum possible height.
- Pause for a second and then return to the starting position. Repeat for five counts
- Repeat on the other side.
3. Hip Raises / Bridge
This exercise will support the lower back to accommodate the growing belly. It also strengthens the buttocks and helps during labour.
- Lie flat on the floor with bent knees and place your palms under your hips.
- Gradually elevate your hips to bring the torso in line with the shoulders.
- Hold for a second and lower down to the initial position.
Walking is necessary during pregnancy, but avoid brisk walking. It helps pregnant women to be more flexible and avoids fat deposits in the body. Walking at least 30 minutes twice a day is adequate. During the first trimester, it is common to have some nausea, so having a light workout routine is highly advised. In the second trimester, the mother feels better, and this is a perfect phase for exercises that would help in an easy delivery.
Second trimester (13-27 weeks) or the honeymoon phase is relatively easier because symptoms of vomiting sensation usually resolve by this period. Abdominal cramps are common and movements of the baby are felt easily, as uterine contractions become frequent. Workouts in this phase are usually safe, but better done after a consultation with your doctor.
1. Downward Dog
This exercise is not recommended in late pregnancy, but helps pregnant women in the second trimester to become more flexible and stretch their body.
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- Take a cats posture by tucking the toes and spreading your fingers wide, press the floor with your fingertips.
- Bend forward and rest on your feet and palm with your fingers pressing firmly into the floor and forming an “A”.
- Bend the right knee and straighten it feeling the stretch.
- Bend the left knee and straighten it.
- Repeat as many times as you can comfortably.
2. Pelvic Tilt (Or) Angry Cat
This exercise strengthens the pelvis, soothes back pain during pregnancy, helps in labour and works towards easing the delivery process.
- Get in a cats posture, with flat palms and pointed toes against the floor.
- While resting on all fours, bend your head back
- Arch your back so that your spine is curved.
- Hold the posture and return to the initial position gently
- Relax, and then repeat.
3. Lying Cobbler Pose
This helps relax your mind and body during pregnancy while stretching your body and improving flexibility.
- Lie flat on a floor close to the wall, with legs stretched. Rest your feet on the wall.
- Stretch your legs in front of you as you sit on the floor. Use a blanket to sit on if you are uncomfortable
- Join the soles of both feet, hold your ankles and pull them close to your pelvis
- Relax, but refrain from pushing your knees down to the floor
- Exhale as you bend forward as far as possible.
- Hold for as long as comfortable, inhale, and sit up slowly
In the third trimester, heavy workouts must be avoided, as a heavy and strenuous activity like lifting heavy weights can cause complications like leakage of the amniotic fluid, for instance.
1. Butterfly Pose
This pose widens your hips and eases pain in the lower back.
- Sit on the ground and bring the soles of your feet together, with the knees pointing outwards.
- Grasp your ankles (or feet) and draw your heels as close to your body as comfortable.
- Lean forward, hold the position, and breathe deeply.
2. Pelvic Stretches
Exercising the pelvic floor muscles is essential when you are preparing for labour. Kegel exercises for a normal delivery focus on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. To isolate and exercise these muscles, try stopping the flow of urine without using your abdominal muscles, thighs or buttocks. For slow Kegel exercises, start by sitting with a straight back comfortably on the workout ball.
- Slow Kegel exercise: Hold the contracted muscles for 3-10 seconds for 10 sets.
- Fast Kegel exercise: Contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles 25-30 times before relaxing for five seconds, and perform four sets of exercises
Yoga during pregnancy for normal delivery is highly recommended for expecting mothers and there are plenty of forms and aasanas that can help increase the flexibility and endurance in an expecting mother. Some aasanas that can be done include:
Yastikasana (Stick pose):
- Lie down with your arms stretched above your head and keep your legs straight.
- Keep the arms and legs as close to each other as possible.
- Hold for as long as it is comfortable.
Vakrasna (Twisted pose):
- Sit on the floor with your legs stretched in front of you.
- Bend your left knee, placing the left foot near the right knee.
- Inhale and raise your arms to shoulder height.
- Exhale and twist as much as you can comfortably, and grasp your right knee with the right hand. Hold for a while.
- Do the exercise in reverse.
Konasana (Angle pose)
- Sit comfortably on the floor.
- Press the soles of your feet together and draw them towards your body, slowly.
- Lean forward as much as you can comfortably
- Hold for five breaths
Squats are important, as they help in the contraction and loosening of the pelvic muscle and help reduce delivery pain. Taking position with the support of a gym ball or holder will give a good pressure to the pelvic area and thighs.
- Breathe and bend down to acquire a sitting position.
- Wait for a second, and return to your starting position.
- Repeat the squat, now keeping your elbows placed inside your thighs, and gently try to open your hips by pushing them back.
- Slowly return to the standing position with feet well supported.
Exercising in pregnancy offers a range of benefits for the mother and ensures higher chances of normal safe delivery. It also provides the following benefits,
- Prevents weight gain
- Prepares a mother’s body for a normal delivery
- Reduces labour pain
- Improves circulation and keeps the heart rate stable
- Improves your stamina and makes you more flexible
- Helps you recover quickly, post-delivery
- Reduces the chances of high blood pressure and pregnancy-induced diabetes
Generally, about half an hour of exercise is adequate and recommended. An expectant mother must stop when the following is observed:
- Pre-existing blood pressure problems, asthmatic conditions, cardiac disorder, diabetes etc.
- Vaginal bleeding
- History of a preterm delivery or wasted delivery
- Experience augmented contractions shortly after exercising.
A proper exercise routine for pregnant women can be very helpful in making normal delivery more likely, additionally reducing labour time and its pain. To ensure safe practices, one should ask the doctor about exercising in detail and perform the exercises under supervision.
Depending on your current fitness level, the type of exercise you plan to do and the stage of your pregnancy, you may begin exercising during any point in pregnancy. Your doctor or midwife can advise you when it’s safe to start taking part in particular types of exercise. The best time to get fit during pregnancy is early and often. And while it’s OK to begin an exercise routine as soon as you start showing, it’s usually a good idea to wait until you’ve had a confirmation ultrasound so that you can be sure there are no issues before diving in. Go ahead and take the plunge! It may be harder for you to complete the same workout regimen pre-pregnancy, but it will pay off in the long run. Plus, when you work out regularly before your delivery date, your body will come back stronger and in better shape than before.
There is no risk of exercise during pregnancy. In fact, exercise during pregnancy can prevent back pain and help you stay healthy throughout your pregnancy. A study conducted in Norway shows that women who are physically active have less complications such as preterm birth and low-birth weight babies compared to those who do not exercise. Your pregnancy is divided into three trimesters, and each one requires special attention to the exercises you do. Start exercising toward the end of your first trimester and gradually increase the frequency, duration and intensity of your workout as you progress through each trimester.
The best time to start exercising is as soon as you can after you find out you’re pregnant. You’ll be better able to manage any discomfort and minimize the risk of complications if you begin exercising now.
Lack Of Exercise During Pregnancy
Lack of exercise during pregnancy can cause dizziness, high blood pressure and extra weight gain. Up to one-third of women miss their weekly exercise routine during pregnancy. This can lead to weight gain and complications in both mother and baby. Make sure to stay active throughout your pregnancy. Lack of exercise during pregnancy can make you more prone to high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. It also increases your chances of having a baby with birth defects if you are obese, because obesity raises the risk of birth defects. In addition, many complications can occur during delivery if you do not maintain a moderate level of physical activity.
You will just need to start slowly, and follow the advice of your doctor. Start by exercising two to three times a week, and build up to four or more times per week once you are ready.
A lack of exercise during pregnancy puts you at risk for complications, such as increased pulse rate and blood pressure, and puts you at an additional risk for developing gestational diabetes. These all can affect not only your health, but also the health of your unborn child.
A lack of exercise during pregnancy also makes it more likely you will gain too much weight during these nine months, making it harder to return to a healthy weight once the baby is born. You may also experience more heartburn and digestion problems.
Although you should not avoid exercise completely during pregnancy, there are certain activities you should stay away from. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, stay away from activities that involve bouncing, jumping or sudden changes of direction. For this reason, horseback riding, contact sports and downhill skiing are not considered safe. Also avoid any exercise that requires you to lay on your back after your first trimester.
Some women avoid exercise during pregnancy because they fear it will cause a miscarriage. According to the American Pregnancy Association, this is not true. It is also not true that you should not lift weights, or anything heavy.
Not only is it safe, but lifting weights may help prepare your body for labor and delivery. Abdominal exercises are also safe, though you should avoid lying flat on your back after the first trimester.
You also do not need to worry about exercise causing pre-term labor. Your body will not go into labor until you — and the baby — are ready. The old guideline that pregnant women should keep their heart rate under 140 beats per minute has also been disproved — the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists eliminated that guideline in the 1990s and now suggests that pregnant women should exercise at a comfortable pace.
Stop exercising and contact your doctor if you experience vaginal bleeding, unusual pain, are dizzy, experiencing premature contractions or if you are leaking any kind of fluid.
Consult with your doctor or midwife before beginning any exercise program, since some medical conditions can cause exercise to do more harm than good. Your doctor may also wish to place restrictions on the types or amount of exercise that you do.
This is because of the lack of exercise during pregnancy. The best remedy for this would be to engage in fitness activity on a daily basis and not just when you are pregnant. This will help build muscles and will most definitely increase your stamina, Exercise during pregnancy is not only good for you and your baby, but it can also help you feel better. If you don’t exercise, it may hurt your health by causing back pain, constipation, swelling and cramping. Exercise also helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which can be common during pregnancy.
Researchers have found that women who exercise during pregnancy are less likely to gain excess weight, have a c-section or go into labor early. Exercise can also help you reduce stress and anxiety, which is common during pregnancy. While vigorous exercise is not recommended during the first three months of pregnancy, moderate exercise like walking or swimming is safe throughout your entire pregnancy. Exercise during pregnancy is recommended and most doctors agree that it is safe. The benefits of exercise during pregnancy, include lower blood pressure and weight gain, increased energy, increased strength, more sleep at night, less back pain and better posture, fewer complications during delivery, improved postpartum recovery and quicker return of pelvic floor function (including bladder control).
Exercise during pregnancy should involve low-impact aerobic activity, such as walking, swimming and cycling. A stationary bike with a seat that fits your pregnant body is the optimal exercise tool. Use a monitor to keep track of your heart rate during exercise. If you are dehydrated, take extra care to stay hydrated.
Exercises For Pregnant Women
Pregnancy is a time of change, both physical and mental. Your body will go through many changes during this time and it’s important to keep up with your exercise routine during pregnancy. It can be difficult to maintain your workout while pregnant, especially if you’re new to exercising or just starting out. But now you can try our exercises for pregnant women which will help you stay fit, flexible, and healthy throughout your pregnancy
Exercise is essential for pregnant women. Studies show that exercising during pregnancy may benefit both you and your baby in multiple ways. Choosing the right exercises for you can help make them even more effective, so contact your healthcare provider for advice on how to stay fit during pregnancy. Exercises are important for pregnant women as they help to relieve stress, keep the body healthy and fit, and prevent various issues like dehydration and constipation. However, not all pregnancies are the same, so it’s important to keep your doctor informed of any health issues you’re experiencing.
The best way to get ready for your big day is to stay fit and healthy. Pregnancy exercises can help a woman prepare her body for childbirth and reduce pain afterward, while also promoting bonding between mother and baby. Pregnant women find themselves overjoyed with anticipation, and the possibility to create a new life. They will be spending their own time catering for the oddest of cravings, but in this case, we do not all have time for it, or simply do not want to spare the time.