Pregnant - Which Exercises Should You Follow?
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology
14 years experience
Advice for an expectant mother is plentiful to come around from family and friends. While it may be well intentional, it may not be the best advice possible. One of the things most people would advise is to avoid exercising as it may affect the health of the mother and the baby. This is in fact a very wrong advice as expectant mothers like everyone need exercise to stay fit and healthy. The only difference from normal people is that certain types of exercises may not be suitable for pregnant women and the nature of exercises may change from trimester to trimester.
Some of the best exercises during pregnancy
- Swimming: This one is in fact recommended by doctors as the best and the safest exercise for pregnant women. Swimming is beneficial because of the following reasons:
- It has immense cardiovascular benefits
- Large muscles groups are exercised in the process
- Helps reduce swelling and inflammation
- Helps with low back pain and relieves the stress on your spine which is caused due to the extra weight you are carrying around.
- Walking: This is one of the safest exercise during any trimester as long as you don’t over exert yourself. Walking promotes blood circulation, improves heart health and is all around a good exercise for pregnant women. The key is to invest in a good pair of shoes for walking so as to prevent the knees and legs from jarring and also to support your upper body properly.
- Stretching: In the later trimesters, it may be a little difficult to manage other exercises as your body becomes heavier and movement may bse limited. However, you can do basic stretching exercises to improve mobility and also help with circulation.
- Weight training exercises: Certain exercises which utilize the weight of your body rather than external weight can be performed easily. You can also use lighter weights to help keep muscle tone and strength. A few examples of these exercises are
- Side leg lifting: Lie on one side and lift one leg up slightly higher than hip height. You can use your forearm for balance in this case. Keep lifting the leg and hold it there for a few seconds and do the same motions a few times for repetitions.
- Curling and lifting: Sit on a chair with your back straight with 2 to 4 kilo weights in each hand and curl up your hands up to the shoulders. Sit with your legs spread apart but comfortably. Also start the curl with your fore arms at a 90° angle from your elbows.
- Yoga and meditation: Yoga is possibly one of the most well suited regimens during pregnancy. Pranayama and meditation can definitely help you be more at peace and also manage many of the changes happening in your body in a much better fashion.
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