There are usually many questions that come to mind when planning how to exercise during pregnancy. Physical exercise is bodily activity that improves or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. This type of exercise during pregnancy is important and can help with some common discomforts of pregnancy and even help prepare your body for labor and delivery.
Is exercise during pregnancy safe?
Overall and in most cases, exercise is safe during pregnancy. You will usually find it is even recommended. Typically, the first rule of thumb is if you were physically active before you were pregnant, it is likely safe to remain active during pregnancy. More than likely, your healthcare provider will tell you to remain active, as long as it is comfortable and there are no other health conditions suggesting otherwise.
Now is not the time to exercise for weight loss, however, proper exercise during pregnancy will likely help with weight loss after the delivery of your baby. Exercise does not put you at risk for miscarriage in a normal pregnancy. You should consult with your health care provider before starting any new exercise routine.
What are the benefits of exercise during pregnancy?
Exercising for 30 minutes on most, or all, days can benefit your health during pregnancy. Exercising for just 20 minutes, 3 or 4 days a week, is still beneficial, as well. The important thing is to be active and get your blood flowing. To have success in completing exercises during pregnancy, it is a good idea to plan the days and times during the week when you will exercise.
Here are some of the benefits from exercise during pregnancy you may experience:
a. Helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling
b. May help prevent, or treat, gestational diabetes
c. Increases your energy
d. Improves your mood
e. Improves your posture
f. Promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance
g. Helps you sleep better
Regular activity also helps keep you fit during pregnancy and may improve your ability to cope with labor. This will make it easier for you to get back in shape after your baby is born.
5 Simple Pregnancy Exercises:
Being fit doesn’t have to mean a big time commitment or fancy equipment. The following workout is simple, can be done at home, and is safe to do in each trimester. Be sure to do the moves in the order shown and, for best results, do the workout every other day. Always check with your doctor before starting this or any exercise program.
Stand parallel to the back of a sturdy chair with the hand closest to the chair resting on it, feet parallel and hip-distance apart.
With your toes and knees turned out to 45 degrees, pull your belly button up and in. Bend your knees, lowering your torso as low as possible while keeping your back straight. Straighten your legs to return to starting position. Repeat for reps.
Strengthens: Quadriceps, hamstrings and butt. Improves balance.
2.Side-Lying Inner and Outer Thigh
Lie on your right side, head supported by your forearm, right leg bent at a 45-degree angle and left leg straight. Place your opposite arm on the floor for stability. Lift left leg to about hip height and repeat for reps.
Then, bend your left knee and rest it on top of pillows for support. Straighten your right leg and lift it as high as possible for reps. Switch sides and repeat for reps.
Strengthens: Core and inner thighs.
Get down on your hands and knees, wrists directly under your shoulders. Lift your knees and straighten your legs behind you until your body forms a straight line. Don’t arch your back or let your belly sag.
Hold for 1 to 2 breaths, working up to 5 breaths.
Strengthens: Core, arms and back.
4.Curl and Lift
Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair with your back straight, feet on the floor, arms at your sides. Hold a 5- to 8-pound weight in each hand, palms facing your body. Bend your elbows so your arms form a 90-degree angle.
Then, keeping your elbows bent, lift the weights to shoulder height. Lower your arms to your sides, then straighten to return to starting position. Repeat for reps.
Strengthens: Biceps and shoulders.
Using a sturdy chair, place your right knee on the seat, left foot on the floor. Bend for- ward, back parallel to the floor and place your right hand on the seat. Hold a 5- to 8-pound weight in your left hand, arm extended down and in line with your shoulder, palm facing in. Bend your left elbow up so that your arm forms a 90-degree angle. Hold, then return to starting position. Repeat for reps, then switch sides.
Strengthens: Back, biceps and triceps.