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Pregnancy is a trying time for a woman's body. Apart from the birthing process, growing and gaining weight takes its toll as well. If you're pregnant, exercising, though it may seem dangerous and counterproductive, can benefit your body in many ways. There are certain exercises that are safe to perform during pregnancy. In fact, there are some recommended exercises that pregnant women are encouraged to do as they help ease aches and pains, reduce tension in the body, and even prepare the body thereby making labour a little easier.

1. Swimming:

Taking to the pool is deemed to be one of the safer and most efficient methods of getting some exercise done when you've got a bun in the oven. Apart from swimming being a great workout for your legs and arms, there are certain exercises you can perform in the pool that have their own benefits to give pregnant moms. Water aerobics is a fun workout and good exercise for expecting mums. Additionally, this kind of exercise goes easy on your joints because you’re floating. It’s also easier to perform the exercises due to the same reason.

2. Yoga:

Yoga is another form of exercise that is highly recommended, keeping in mind that certain techniques are OK while others should be avoided during pregnancy. Prenatal yoga can be especially helpful which aims to help an expecting mother focus on relaxation; it helps increase flexibility and focus and encourages deep breathing, all of which come in handy during the process of childbirth. Ensure that the exercises you do are neither too strenuous on your body nor too heating.

3. Running/Walking:

For those who don’t exercise much under normal circumstances, brisk walking is a great way to start off. In addition to being safe, it’s also extremely easy to find time to do and very easy to do, seeing as how it requires no special equipment, maybe apart from some good running/walking shoes. Experienced runners can also continue with their running, as long as they ensure they don’t overwork their bodies, i.e., staying on level ground to make it easier on the joints.

4. Dancing/Aerobics:

Dancing and low-impact aerobics not only help you get exercise, but they also stimulate the flow of endorphins in the body. They’re fun to do and help keep you in shape. Just remember to know your limits and know when to stop because excess pressure or strain on the abdomen can impact your baby.

5. Home exercises:

Many of the exercises that are part of general workout routines can be done at home (with the right precautions). These include squats, planks, indoor cycling, plie, weightlifting (stick to light weights), pilates, the elliptical machine, etc. These generally pose low risks to your body and can be continued until it’s time to give birth. You can consult a healthcare professional to find out ways of performing these exercises which will make sure your womb is not impacted in any negative manner.

Most exercises are OK to perform during pregnancy, as long as they're not overdone or done at a highly strenuous level. If you've never exercised before, don't worry! You can always start. In fact, exercising during pregnancy is encouraged, but make sure to consult your healthcare provider with regard to what may be the best for you and what is best avoided.

Other benefits of exercise include prevention of gestational diabetes and posture problems as well as decreasing other pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, constipation, and even fatigue. Exercising while pregnant also makes it easier to get back into shape after giving birth. If you suffer from heart disease, asthma, or diabetes, it is advisable to avoid exercising as it could lead to further health complications. Contacting your health care provider at every step of the way can help ensure a smooth pregnancy.

Happy exercising! 

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