Many women avoid doing exercise during pregnancy - fearing its consequence on the pregnancy. While the apprehensions and doubts are understood, exercise is safe and recommended by most doctors - unless there are complications in the pregnancy. In fact, exercise regimes can be extremely beneficial if one knows the limit of your body. The best thing about a pregnancy exercise regime is the fact that it will stop accumulation of unnecessary fat storage. For a would-be mom, this will keep her fit and healthy. So, here is a bucket list of 7 do’s and don’ts of exercising for a pregnant lady:
1. Do get in touch with the doctor: Exercise during pregnancy depends on many factors such as which trimester of pregnancy you are in, what is the complication level of the pregnancy, your body weight, etc. Thus, it is essential to get the nod of your doctor before even planning a fitness schedule during pregnancy. For a normal pregnancy, your doctor might refer you to a certified yoga or gym instructor who specializes in pre-birth training assistance and guidance. However, in the case of complications - such as multiple births or vaginal pain - your doctor will restrict you to a select set of body movements.
2. Body adaptation: Pregnant or not, the key to any fitness regime is to ensure that the body adapts well to the new exercise routine. Indulging in a highly impactful exercise during pregnancy - especially in the second and the third trimester - is strictly uncalled for. It can do you and the baby more harm than good. The slightest of discomfort should be immediately noticed and acted accordingly. Understand the difference between adaptability and forcible adaptability - always keeping the comfort of your body in mind.
3. Strengthen the core: The sole idea of exercising during pregnancy is to toughen the core muscle. This makes the spine more strengthened and you, in turn, can ease into carrying the baby. Deep breathing exercises are also very beneficial for this. Further, one should also focus on exercises to strengthen biceps, and shoulder. Pelvic floor exercises, in particular, go a long way in making the pelvic strong and safeguarding the mom against any birth-related complications.
4. Do not stop breathing: Some exercises or mild yoga setting requires one to control breathing according to what the instructor suggests. In doing so, many times a pregnant woman tends to hold on to their breath. This practice is dangerous and can affect the mother as well as the baby. It is important to continue exercise with proper breathing so that you exert less pressure on the pelvic floor.
5. Keep the body well hydrated: When it comes to the intake of healthy fluids, nothing works better than water. Water comes laden with a plethora of nutrients and health benefits. Consuming water at regular intervals will help the body negate unwanted pregnancy-related complications and discomfort such as constipation or hemorrhoids. This wil make things a lot easier and stress-free for mom-to-be's. Apart from water, you can also consider fruit juice or lemonade.
6. Don’t engage in high impact sports: No matter what level of fitness you are at, refrain from high impact sports and physical activities such as judo, kickboxing, horse riding or squash during pregnancy. Instead, one can indulge in less strenuous alternatives such as jogging or light free hand exercises. During pregnancy, most doctors and physical instructors suggest refraining from exercises and physical activities that require one to lie on her back - especially after the 16th weeks of the pregnancy. In addition to the pressure on the spine, when you lie on your back - it also may exert extreme pressure on the vena cava blood vessels that are responsible for carrying oxygen to the heart.
7. Don’t stretch: If, at any point in time, you feel tired or experience difficulties in breathing - you must relook into your exercise plan. It may be needed that you tweak or cut short the exercise time more as per your convenience and comfort. You can also indulge in meditation, swimming, or yoga - all of which will work to your benefit during pregnancy.
Exercise during the pregnancy is not easy. The body continues to grow along with the baby. The uterus can become as big as 100 times of the normal size. Do not be disheartened if you find it difficult to work out during the last stage of the pregnancy. Every movement of the body is as good as working out during pregnancy. So, pat your back and breath for the awesome work you have already been doing!