An active lifestyle is very important to maintain a safe and healthy pregnancy. It also contributes to the wellbeing of the baby and eases labour and reduces the risks of cesarean surgery. During pregnancy, fitness is very crucial which is why doctors advise pregnant women to focus on their diet, take additional supplements, stay hydrated and continue exercising. You can get more information about pre-pregnancy diet here.
In this article, we have listed 5 exercises which are necessary for you and the baby’s wellbeing.
Brisk walking: If exercise wasn’t a part of your regular routine before you got pregnant, brisk walking is a good place to start. You can ask your friends or your spouse to join you for a quick walk around the neighbourhood. Start slow maybe 30 minutes a day and start increasing your walk time gradually taking it up to an hour. Brisk walking is a great cardiovascular workout as it helps to maintain a healthy weight and improves your mood. Make sure you are wearing the right shoes to avoid hurting your feet or causing muscle ache in your legs.
Yoga: Prenatal yoga is regarded as one of the best exercises as it helps women maintain flexibility of joints and also assists in stress management and keeps anxiety levels low. It stimulates the blood circulation and strengthens your muscles. However, you must avoid any poses that require you to lie on your abdomen or on your back for longer span as that puts pressure on the arteries and reduces blood flow
Swimming: Aqua aerobics are even better for pregnant women, especially those in their second or third trimester as they put lesser stress on your joints. Start swimming or get enrolled in a class for aqua aerobics. Be mindful of choosing swimming styles which do not cause a lot of stress on your back muscles. Also refrain from direct diving and make use of railing to avoid slipping.
Squats & Pelvic Tilts: Particularly useful in the third trimester, squatting and pelvic tilts assist in preparing your body for labour. Squatting primarily helps opening up your pelvis and greatly supports labour. You can check squat routines for pregnant women online or you can simply stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a straightened back, and gradually lower your buttocks, making sure your knees don’t go any further forward than your feet. Hold the pose for 10-15 seconds and gradually move back up straight. Repeat at least 3 sets of 10. Pelvic tilts, on the other hand, reduce back pain and strengthen abdominal muscles.
Stationary cycling: Cycling is very good for increased blood flow and reduced stress. While normal cycling could indeed be dangerous for pregnant women due to the risk of accidents and falling, you can always get a stationary cycle and cycle on it. It is a lot safer and it helps support body weight while minimizing the stress on your joints and the pelvis.
All these exercises are quite helpful and not only reduce the stress levels during pregnancy but also prepare your body for all the changes and adaptations during pregnancy and in the post-natal period. It is important that you take care of your body during pregnancy and after giving birth for a healthier life.
In case you are worried about the postnatal period, read our tips to survive the first 3 months after pregnancy