Pregnancy is a substantial change in every woman’s life, with changes happening in the body, isn’t it quintessential that the body has to function well?
To have the body function well during pregnancy, it is important to take care of these 3 things, eating the right food, taking sufficient sleep and performing exercises that are safe during pregnancy. It is evident that exercising can keep the mind peaceful and can keep the right balance with the hormones.
In this article, you will be educated on how to be in a safe zone and follow steps on performing each exercise during pregnancy and have a smooth one.
Why is it Important to Exercise During Pregnancy?
- Exercising during pregnancy builds a base for you to be able to withstand the labour pain
- In order to have the right posture to ease your experience while fighting backaches
- To keep away from being affected by diabetes, one must invest time in exercising. Women are most likely to get affected by gestational diabetes because of hiked blood sugar levels in the body
Best Pregnancy Exercises to try
There is a drastic transformation in every women’s life when she is about to enter the motherhood stage,she is going through mixed emotions of how will she manage to nurture the life in her womb and take care of herself with the tornado like hormonal changes she is witnessing each day and to catch up with the activities in her daily life. Is this possible? Phew! Take a deep breath and relax this is absolutely possible. But how? Let’s see that.
The ground rule is that you must be conscious of the fact that there is an embryonic life in your womb, so keep your exercises moderate paced to avoid strain for yourself and your baby.
Good to know information before you begin exercising
- Drink sufficient water before you start any workout
- Do not over-do and get yourself in trouble
- Consult a doctor before you start any activity to be on a safe side.
Safe and Good Pregnancy exercises
1. Start Walking
The easiest and safest that tops the list of all exercises is, going for a walk
2. Go for Swimming
For those of you who love swimming and know how to swim, swimming is a good option. It is completely safe, provided you choose to very gently make your strokes in water. Limit yourself to swim for less than 45 minutes. Do not overexert yourself. Swimming will aid to better sleep, tone up your muscles, keep your weight in control and also develop the oxygen content in your body.
Precautions to take when swimming
- Do not jump or dive into the pool, this could hurt your baby
- Do not worry about the chlorine in the pool it would not harm you in your pregnancy
3. Gentle Cardio
You can do some light cardio exercises as it will help in better blood circulation in your body, boost your energy to manage to withstand pain in your delivery and it is the best option for your heart and lungs. For example – you can walk on the treadmill, use elliptical and climb stairs.
Precautions to take while doing cardio
- Ensure that you don’t set a tough speed while on the cross trainer or treadmill it can make you feel breathless which in-turn is not good for your baby
- While you are using the stairs ensure to take it slow and see to it you have a support to rely on in case you lose balance
4. Lift Light Weights
You can opt to carry light weights too to strengthen your muscles.Carrying heavy weights is strictly not recommended as it can hamper the flow of blood in your Uterus which will cause trouble to the fetus.
5. Go fit with Yoga
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise with different techniques acquired in the years, it is known for its ever giving benefits, helps soothe and relax your body, gives you a clarity in your thought process and is one of the marvellous forms of exercise that will better your breathing and its relevance lies in the fact that with tremendous body changes your mind gets worked up, yoga will help you relax.
6. Tap your feet to Aerobics
Some of you may be love music and like dancing to it, that undoubtedly leads to two advantages of making you have fun and work out. Now, aerobics can be looked up to as an option to exercise during pregnancy as it will keep you happy which means you are mentally fit and it will cater to the development of your body.Like, better stamina, control on your weight and sound sleep.
7. Gear up with Pilates
Pilates is an exercise that can be done at home on a mat, the good news is that this exercise does not need an equipment.The motto is more or less similar to that of yoga. Pilates aims at helping you strike the right balance in your body posture and make you flexible, flexibility is vital for a woman during pregnancy so that she can carry her body weight hassle-free.The exercises look plain sailing but then, it does consume energy.
8. Try Some Amazing Stretches
You can also do basic stretching exercises, these stretching exercises will be helpful to your back, joints, hips and legs. Stretching can re-orient and reinforce muscles and make the job of joints and muscles easy. It can help your back feel stress-free and eliminate the pain from your two joint muscles.
9. Jog Slowly
You can slowly jog during pregnancy if you have been used to jogging pre-pregnancy and even if you haven’t before that.Jogging is one of the sources the body gets stamina from. But, keep in mind that you aren’t too fast and you have had enough of water so that your sugar levels don’t drop down you don’t feel sick after jogging.
10. Cycle Indoors or Outdoors
Cycling from childhood all across the streets would have always been fun.You can still enjoy this, cycling can be opted as an exercise during pregnancy as it helps you stay fit, overdoing it or not being precautious can put you in trouble.As long as you know the safety measures, it is okay to cycle
Precautions to take when cycling
- When cycling indoors, adjust the saddle that’s convenient to your reach and sit comfortably while cycling, avoid bending and cycling as it can enforce pressure on your lower back
- If you are cycling at home or in the gym, ensure to have to right speed set while cycling
- Do not push yourself into cycling in case you are feeling dizzy.Please refrain as you feel sick
- Do not stand and cycle as it will lead to unwanted pressure on your joints
- Be aware while you are cycling on sloppy or bumpy areas as it can cause trouble to your uterus
12 Effective Methods To Perform Exercises During Pregnancy
Follow these simple steps that will help you learn the best ways of performing pregnancy exercises at home
1. Side Stretching
Every woman is very particular about strengthening her spine and back so that she can support the baby growing inside her womb.This exercise is to help you focus on your hips and spine because if the spine is well supported with the stomach only then it will be easy to carry the baby’s weight.To do this,
- Sit down with your legs folded
- Place your left hand (from your elbow to your palm on the floor or on your thigh)
- Lift your right hand up and slightly bend it towards your left and feel the stretch
- Breathe normally while you are in this position
- Taking the support of your hand that is down, slowly come up
Repeat the same procedure for the other side too
2. Bird Dog Exercise
This is an exercise that will help you keep your butt firm and naturally induce stamina in your core.This stamina is vital for greater endurance.Follow some simple steps to do this exercise
- Place yourself in a crawling position
- Ensure to keep your back straight
- Lift your opposite leg and arm
Repeat this on either sides at least 5 times
3. Bridge Exercise
As the name suggests bridge,you will place your body like a bridge.In this exercise,you will learn how to avoid back pain during pregnancy
- Lie down with your sole touching the floor
- Place your palms on the floor
- Lift the portion of your pelvic region and butt towards the ceiling, breathe normally while you do this
- Slowly come down on your back
- To feel the relief hold your knees and bring it close to your chest and stretch your legs straight
Repeat this procedure at least five times.
4. Side Planks
Side Planks is less complex when compared to that of the other floor exercises because its methodology is simple in a way that it does not put any pressure on the stomach,it is a great source of relieving you of stress and making you feel good.
- Be on your side with your elbow on the ground and the elbow and shoulder in one line
- Keep your body straight like a bridge
- Stay in this position as per your convenience.
Repeat the same on the other side too
5. Butterfly Stretching
This stretch can be done at ease, this will help you expand your groin area, loosens your thigh muscles and eliminates most abdominal related issues.
- Sit on the floor and join the soles of your left and right leg
- Hold your ankles with both your hands to keep the sole of your legs intact
- Flap your legs like a butterfly flaps its wings
Continue flapping this way for 3-4 minutes.
6. Frog Stretching
This stretch may appear complex, but it can be performed like any other exercise. This helps in loosening your thigh muscles and will sooth your back.
- Turn your body in a way that you are facing the floor but do not lie on the floor
- Touch your elbows on the floor and align it with your shoulder
- Spread your legs wide apart and place your feet on the floor with both the big toes touching each other
Stay in this position for a while until you can hold yourself
7. Stretching your Hip Flexor
This stretch is amazing to loosen your tight hip muscles. Generally, during pregnancy, a woman’s hip muscles tighten because there is a change in your pelvic position. To perform this exercise follow these steps
- Kneel on one knee on the floor and place your other leg up
- Raise your opposite hand slowly and look straight, balance yourself in this position
Repeat the same procedure with your other leg
Squatting comes with its set of benefits, when you squat during pregnancy your abdominal muscles strengthen, your pelvic region is more expanded for the baby to come out easily. Twenty squats will suffice during pregnancy. All you have to do is
- Stand with your feet apart as much as the distance of your shoulder
- Bend a little and bring out your hands with your fists closed and facing each other
- Come down and go up slowly without bending your back, you will feel the stretch on your thighs
9. Light Weight Lifting
Lifting light weights during pregnancy is a good option as it will help you be physically sound and strengthen your shoulders, you will need immense stamina after your baby is born so light weights can help you keep up with it.
- Lift a dumble of about 2kgs
- While you have the dumble in your hand bring it close to your arm and then down
- Keep in mind that there will be a movement of your hand only after your elbow
10. Wide Stretching
The wide stretching has more or less like the frog stretch but the only difference here is that you can stand and stretch your legs wide apart and you will do it this way
- Take the support of a wall, table or a ladder
- Place your opposite hand on your hip and slowly stretch the same leg high as you can
See to it that you form a seven like posture. Repeat the same procedure with your other hand and leg too. Stay in this position for at least 3 minutes.
11. Back Stretching
This exercise will release all the strain in your lower back, neck and chest and any stretching exercise revives our mood. To do this exercise you will have to follow these steps
- Go on your knees resting your foot on the floor
- Wring your hands forward Slowly bend your head and place your palms on a ball for support
- Push your lower body out and keep your back straight
Ensure to stay in this position for a while and once you are done slowly come up
12. Yoga exercises during pregnancy
Sometimes, the integral idea is not just exercising to gain stamina or lose weight. But, you also want to have it effectively practised in a new way where you are extracting the best practices that could mentally make you strong, to come in terms with the changes you are going through.
To begin with exercises in yoga, first sit down, close your eyes, place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Feel your heartbeat and inhale and exhale slowly.By doing this, you are creating that peaceful vibe within yourself that passes on to the baby too. Here are some of the yoga poses that come with multi-benefits of a sound mind and healthy body.
(i) Tree Posture
- Place your left leg on your right thigh a little close to your pelvic region.
- Keep your head and neck straight.
- Join both your hands and inhale and exhale gracefully.
(ii) Garland Posture
- Sit in a squatted posture
- Spread your legs wide apart with your toes out and heels in firmly on the ground
- Join both your palms with your elbows extended
- Keep your back and neck straight
- Open your chest and gaze forward
(iii) Warrior Posture
- Spread both your legs as much as you can
- Slightly bend your right knee and look in the right direction
- Stretch your hands and bring it to the level of your shoulder
Repeat the same with the other leg too
(iv) Downward Dog Posture
- Keep comfortable distance between your legs and bend forward with your head down
- Push your back up, stretch your calf muscles and try to touch your heel on the ground
Stay in this position for a minute or two
(v) Tailor Posture
- Sit on the floor with the place your hand on your knees
- Let the tip of your thumb and pointer finger touch each other
- Move your neck in the left direction and the right direction
- Rotate your neck clockwise and anti-clockwise
Repeat each cycle 5 times at least.
To have it all summarized, Embrace this phase of pregnancy though it comes with its boons and banes. Always remember that you have an additional responsibility of your baby’s life and yours that only you can take care of. So everything that you watch, hear, speak, eat and do is forming the very basis for your baby’s growth.
Do not take this as a phobic factor. But, have this at the back of your mind that you are going to bring in a new life and when the child is out.He/she should have a safe and healthy beginning. Nevertheless, give utmost pampering to yourself, keep yourself happy and take pride in this feeling. Have a joyous, healthy and a safe Pregnancy!