Workout in pregnancy is beneficial for the health of expectant mothers and growth of her baby in many ways. No doubts it is neither advisable nor possible to maintain the pre-pregnancy workout routine during your gestational period, but continuing with moderate exercises throughout the 42 weeks stretch can help you a lot in prevention as well as treatment of many prenatal and antenatal issues, such as gestational diabetes, fatigue, swelling, pain, stress, anxiety and energy endurance. Also the babies born to physically fit mothers are generally not obese and have higher cardio fitness levels. Exercising regularly during pregnancy also reduce labor pain.
Most of the exercises are considered safe in pregnancy except for breathing exercises, heavy exercises, deep knee bends and those exercises which involve any risk of causing abdominal trauma. Opt for the exercises that you would be able to continue throughout the three trimesters. Focus on strengthening and toning of your muscles. Here we enlist 5 such exercises that you may easily incorporate in your daily routine and are recommended for pregnant women to reduce labor pain, by experts.
Exercises to reduce labor pain:
Going by the fitness experts, swimming is the safest and most recommended exercise for expectant mothers. It is a low impact workout that provides cardiovascular benefits, works on your large muscle group, supports your joints and ligaments. It also keeps your weight gain within the healthy range.
The feeling of weightlessness comes as a respite from continuous heaviness for you and for your strained back as well. Swimming also reduces the swelling from your legs and protects your body against overheating.
Another excellent cardio workout that can be conveniently performed throughout pregnancy is walking. Just 30 minutes of walk a day can help in reducing the risk of many pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes, Pre-eclampsia, hypertension and pre-term labor. It is also a simple solution for common pregnancy troubles such as morning sickness, varicose veins, constipation, fatigue, mood swings and insomnia. It helps in toning your muscles, increasing your stamina and in avoiding the excess weight gain. Most of the obstetricians advise regular brisk walking in third trimester to enhance the chances of normal, reduce labor pain and thus easier delivery .
This yoga comprises of gentle yogic exercises that focus on correct breathing, stretching, postures and relaxation. These exercises enhance the flexibility and strength of your muscles, increases your core strength, build your stamina. Thus prepare you for labor as your pregnancy proceeds. They also improve the blood circulation, and keep a check on your blood pressure and heart. Besides all these physical benefits, prenatal yoga is gaining popularity in current times, as it helps all mums-to-be to bond together in a positive and supportive environment, which is a great way to boost your emotional strength and to keep stress at bay.
Low impact aerobics
Low impact Aerobics that doesn’t involve jumping, bouncing, twisting and turning and where you keep one foot on the floor all the time, is also a recommended workout during pregnancy. It is approved by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as well. This prevents excessive weight gain, tones your muscles, and improves your heart and lung function. It also alleviates pregnancy related pains, fatigue, tiredness and insomnia. Focus more on pelvic floor exercises which will eventually reduce labor pain.
These exercises can be learned easily from DVD tutorials or you may join aerobic classes, which not only facilitate you with the expertise of an instructor but also let you enjoy the company of other expectant mothers.
Indoor/ stationary cycling is another amazing cardio workout that comes with a lot of prenatal benefits. It is a safer way to break the sweat without straining your joints and with no risk of injuries. This facilitates you to adjust your position and intensity of paddling as per your convenience. It keeps you fit and active throughout the pregnancy, reduce labor pain and make it shorter and easier.
These five exercises are considered to be the safest during pregnancy by experts and can be continued right up to delivery. If you are regular with other physical activities like Jogging, Outdoor Cycling, Zumba, Dance and High Impact Aerobics during your pre-pregnancy phase, then you may continue with these during pregnancy too, but in moderation. Avoid all those exercises that require balancing, holding your breath, extensive stretching, jarring motions, rapid change of direction. And also those which involve a risk of injury, especially on your abdomen. Stay away from contact sports (football, volleyball) and adventure sports (scuba diving, surfing, and mountain-biking).
Now before i sign off I would like you to quickly go through a few more guidelines associated with pregnancy workouts:
- A good and healthy diet is a vital part of any fitness regimen. And in pregnancy it is all the more important, so never compromise on your diet.
- It is important to warm up before the workout and to cool down afterwards.
- Do not exercise to the point of exhaustion. If you start losing your breath, stop immediately.
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
- Always wear loose and comfortable clothes.
- Don’t exercise in hot and humid weather; you may end up overheating yourself.
Finally, do remember that the prime focus of your pregnancy fitness program should always be on maintaining your current fitness levels rather than on achieving new fitness goals.
Take a look at our pregnancy guide to read everything you need to know about pre and post pregnancy care.
Practice Healthy…!! Stay Healthy…!!
Aafiya is a health and wellness enthusiast. She utilizes her spare time to contribute insightful articles around day to day lifestyle challenges and their remedies, that all can relate to.
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