Basic Exercises for Pregnant Women
A pregnant woman like you needs proper nutrition, prenatal check-ups with a suitable health care provider such as a midwife, and a loving family that supports you during this exciting phase of your life. But these are not the only important matters that should be considered.
Maintaining an active lifestyle is vital for the health of the mother and the unborn child for the following reasons such as:
- staying fit and healthy during pregnancy;
- avoiding physical discomforts associated with pregnancy;
- having a safe and normal delivery; and,
- getting back in shape quickly after giving birth.
While there are some workouts that are not fit for expectant moms, there are simple exercises that are highly recommended and can be followed on a regular basis.
First of all, you need to discuss your workout plan or exercise program with your midwife. She can advise you on the guidelines you need to observe while engaging in these physical activities. She can also discuss with you the role that your medical history has to play in your decision to lead an active lifestyle during your pregnancy period.
Before and during your workout sessions, make sure that you are well-hydrated. Whatever fitness level you may have before being pregnant, you should start off slowly and move carefully to avoid any sudden accidents. Do not force yourself to finish a particular routine if you become too hot or too tired. If you also feel any sign of discomfort such as dizziness, headache, or bleeding, stop immediately and contact your midwife.
Walking is a great exercise routine. It strengthens your cardiovascular health, improves your endurance, and reduces having leg cramps. Observe proper posture while walking. Keep your focus forward. Walking during daytime, especially in the early morning, is the ideal. Try not to walk for more than 30 minutes every day, when you feel that you are nauseated, or when you are having contractions.
Stretching is a light exercise that can brighten your mood and make your muscles more flexible. Try to do neck or shoulder rotations, leg shakes, or ankle stretches. Make sure you are in a comfortable position, whether standing or sitting down. Do the rotations in a slow and gentle manner, four on each side, or as long as you feel relaxed.
If you want to strengthen your muscles before, during, and after labour period, use the Kegel exercises. This is especially needed for you to be able to practice relaxing and controlling your muscles. Imagine you are trying to hold back your urine or avoid passing gas. Wait for three to four seconds before releasing it. This is achievable by flexing your pelvic floor muscles, a necessary movement to ease the childbirth process. And since this is an easy activity, no matter where you are or how busy your daily activities are, you can do this.
Engaging in tailor exercises during pregnancy helps in relieving or eliminating lower back pain. This can be done by sitting down in an “Indian Style” or a “Cross Legged” manner. There is no exact rule as to when you should do this. But it is greatly encouraged that you do this whenever you are relaxing at home, having a conversation with your family, or just doing any activity that requires you sitting down.
Living an active lifestyle has a lot of physical, mental, and emotional benefits for you and the baby. Don’t put it off for tomorrow. Start one today!