Pregnancy is the time when women get a lot of attention and care from their family and friends. So much so that sometimes expectant mothers start feeling that they are ill or suffering from a disease. But, this is not the case. Pregnancy is a phase, which women should enjoy along with taking care of themselves. It is essential for pregnant women to become health conscious, exercise regularly and try to stay fit. Good health and fitness during pregnancy help in making labour shorter, delivery of the baby easier and reducing the chances of complications.
There may be times, especially during the first and the third trimester when you may feel weak and tired and would want to rest for the whole day. But, exercising may help you feel more active.
Benefits of exercising during pregnancy:
- Exercising will help you to carry the weight you usually gain during pregnancy.
- The weight will be evenly distributed rather than accumulation at one particular place on the body.
- Exercise makes you stronger and prepares you for physical stress associated with pregnancy, especially that during delivery of the baby.
- Exercise during pregnancy helps you to lose weight and get back in shape post delivery.
- Exercise will boost your energy especially during the first and third trimester when you feel tired.
- The changes in your body during and after pregnancy may lead to aches and pains. Hence, exercise helps you to cope up with such pains by strengthening your muscles.
- Just walking and climbing the stairs can help you to lower the risk of illnesses like gestational diabetes.
- Exercising also helps in reducing problems like varicose veins, constipation and backache.
- It has been observed that women who exercise during pregnancy are more active and optimistic, than women who don’t, especially during their third trimester when a feeling of anxiety and stress surrounds them.
- Getting a good night sleep becomes a rarity during the later stages of pregnancy. Exercising on a regular basis may tire you and, thus, help you to get better sleep.
Recommended exercises during pregnancy:
If you are pregnant, you should preferably take up breathing exercises and other exercises that improve blood circulation. Avoid lifting heavy weights, or doing exercises that involve jumping or high-impact foot work. Following are the exercises that can be safe, beneficial and enjoyable during pregnancy.
- Yoga: It mainly focuses on breathing, posture, relaxation and body awareness. It also helps to control your mood swings.
- Pilates: Pilates during the prenatal period improves flexibility and strengthens you.
- Weight training: Weights help to tone your muscles. However, it is important to take weight training from a professional so as to ensure that you use light weights.
- Low-impact aerobics: This rhythmic exercise improves the functioning of heart and lungs and strengthens these organs.
Besides these, walking, swimming, water-exercises, cycling, etc. are beneficial during pregnancy but fix an exercise regime only after you have consulted your doctor.
Signs indicating that it’s time you stop exercising
Mentioned below are few signs that may indicate that you need to stop exercising. Make sure you consult your doctor before you restart exercising.
- Blurred vision
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Sudden pain in abdomen or vagina
- Discharge of blood or fluid from vagina
Increasing weight and noticeable changes in body shape can depress you. There’s no need to hide your baby bump, be proud of it! This is one of the phases when you really need to stay happy. And you can do that by staying healthy both mentally and physically.