Staying active during pregnancy is a solution to backaches, feeling “heavy”, and other common discomfort pregnant women feel. It helps prepare the body for labor and postpartum recovery too.
Physical activity, in general, should be done to a suitable and comfortable degree during pregnancy.
Who Shouldn’t Exercise During Pregnancy?
While we all know that exercise, in general, has a host of health benefits, it may not be recommended for everyone. Everyone has a different set of conditions that determine to what level of physical activity they are allowed. For some, exercise during pregnancy is not an option. It may even prove to be harmful to both the mother and the baby.
Mothers should consult with their doctor before starting an exercise routine if they have the following conditions: asthma, chronic heart disease, diabetes, bleeding or spotting, low placenta, weak cervix, history of early labor, and a history of miscarriages.
Exercises Good for Pregnant Women
Again, remember to consult with your doctor or health care provider before jumping into exercising. If the mother has scoliosis, this should be factored in too. Although scoliosis in pregnant women and other adults doesn’t contribute to the worsening of the curvature, it’s best to bring this up when discussing the forms of exercise you want to take. But generally, here are some forms of exercise that are recommended for pregnant women.
Swimming and Water Aerobics
Swimming takes the pressure off the joints. Additionally, the buoyancy gives momentary relief from the extra weight. One could swim like they would for leisure or perform strokes to really get some movement going. Bear in mind that the strokes or any other physical activity should not stress the back, neck, and shoulders more than they should just because they’re in the water.
Yoga has been all a craze because of the physical benefits and relief it has to offer, especially when paired with meditation. There are many types of yoga out there catering to different needs and lifestyles. Needless to say, there’s one for pregnancy too. It’s made safe to use for pregnant women who are depressed, at high risk, or experience lumbopelvic, one study finds. Furthermore, it’s said to be more effective than walking and other standard prenatal exercises.
If the mother has a health condition or medical history that warrants extra caution when it comes to physical activity, walking is the prescribed middle ground. It’s usually safe, good for the joints, fall-proof, and doesn’t require extra effort for movement. It’s something one does every day anyway when running errands or doing chores. Doing everyday activities in this case could count as exercise too.
Pelvic tilts develop abdominal muscles, reduce overall back pain, and help make the delivery easier. To do this, get on your hands and knees while keeping your head aligned to your back. Raise your back upward as you pull your stomach in. maintain this posture for a few seconds. Then relax your stomach and back. Be sure to do so while maintaining your back flat and preventing your stomach from sagging.
Squatting is often done during labor to help the baby descend with ease. By integrating squatting into exercise, it can strengthen the pelvic outlet and the muscles essential for labor. Squatting can be done by leaning your back against the wall, with your feet shoulder-width apart. From a standing position, slowly slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold that position for a couple of seconds until you slide back up into a standing position.
Do Low to Medium Intensity Aerobic Exercises
Aerobic exercises involve exercises that make the heart beat faster (e.g. walking, swimming, etc.). Avoid heavy or risky activities not suited for pregnancy.
If the mother was not physically active before, it’s important to start slowly and avoid unnecessary strain. Meanwhile, if the mother was physically active before pregnancy, it should be a little easier for them to ease into a routine but it should be done in moderation.
Hydration is important in exercising, but all the more important during pregnancy. Keep out for signs and symptoms of dehydration during pregnancy. To avoid this, follow the recommended 10 glasses of water a day.
One common result of hormonal changes in the body pregnant women experience is constipation. One of water’s basic functions is to help soften stool and bowel movements easier. Other than that, there may be times in which keeping anything down is a struggle. To make up for it, at least there’s water.
Listen to Your Cravings
While there’s no clear explanation for cravings, it might be the body’s way of demanding what it’s looking for. Proper nutrition and sustenance are essential during pregnancy, especially that whatever one consumes is affecting two.
Some essential nutrients mothers should add to their diet are folic acid, protein, calcium, and iron.
Exercise is important in many contexts but the intensity of the activity should not gloss over the current condition of an individual, especially if they were pregnant. All is well when practiced in moderation and proportionate to a person’s needs.