It is very important for pregnant women to stay physically active and perform some light exercises. Doctors believe that exercising during the pregnancy may help to prepare your body and muscles for the delivery, reduce the pain in the back, and decrease the risk to gain too much weight. However, a woman should perform exercises very gently and to know when to stop.
Why should you exercise during the pregnancy?
Regular exercising during pregnancy may help you:
- Keep your body fit and control weight gain;
- Reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes or preeclampsia;
- Improve your sleep and reduce fatigue;
- Improve your mood and get rid of depressive thoughts;
- Prepare your muscle for the delivery, ease the labor and recovery period;
- Decrease the risk of preterm birth or the need for Cesarean section;
- Get back in shape faster after the delivery;
- Some studies suggest that children born by a woman who exercised during the pregnancy are healthier, has lower birth weight and better stress tolerance.
How to exercise safely?
There is a difference in exercise intensity between women who were exercising before the pregnancy and those who were not.
If you were exercising regularly before the pregnancy, you may exercise as previously changing the intensity a bit according to the trimester. For those who didn’t exercise before it is recommended to start with low-intensity workout and gradually increase the intensity of the program.
Usually you should exercise for 20-30 minutes 3-5 days per week, paying attention to your feelings. If the exercises make you feel uncomfortable or anything hurts, you should stop exercising.
Exercises recommended in pregnancy
- Swimming and water aerobics
These activities are considered to be the best for future mothers since in the water your body seems lighter and the water can relieve the symptoms of morning sickness, alleviate the back pain and reduce the feeling of the ankles’ swelling.
3-5 times per week for 30 minutes would be perfect for you.
- Brisk walking
Brisk walking is the easiest activity to perform, which you can perform until your due date. Plus, you don’t need any special equipment. Be careful while walking and pay attention where you step.
Running helps to improve your cardiovascular system endurance and strengthen your heart muscle. If you have never run before it is recommended to start with short sessions and gradually increase the session duration up to 30 minutes.
Aerobics will help you to keep your body in tone and strengthen the muscles.
- Indoor cycling
It may be dangerous to ride a bicycle as the center of gravity is displaced in pregnant woman and you may easily get hurt. That’s why a stationary bike may be the best option for you.
You can train 2 or 3 times per week for 30-60 minutes.
Pilates may help you to alleviate the back pain and learn to keep the balance with the enlarged belly. It is enough to do pilates once a week. However, you should be extremely careful while performing the exercises and avoid twisting of the middle part of your body or recumbent poses.
Yoga improves not only your physical condition, but your mental status as well. Yoga will help you to be at peace with your body and soul, relax and at the same time train your muscles and become more flexible. Some breathing techniques may be helpful during the delivery.
Avoid hot yoga and overstretching.
- Weight lifting
Weight lifting is considered safe when performed twice a week. These trainings help to strengthen your muscles and prepare them to carry the child. It is recommended to avoid holding the weight over your abdomen or lying on the back.
- Pelvic tilts and squatting
These exercises are recommended for pregnant woman as they prepare the body for the childbirth.