Exercise is essential for a healthy pregnancy. Doing regular physical activity not only helps you stay fit but also helps you strengthen your body. These factors will work for your advantage in achieving a successful childbirth experience.
Every pregnancy is different. There are some cases of high-risk pregnancy where bed rest is recommended or physical activity is restricted. For most pregnancies, however, regular movement and exercise should be made part of the daily routine.
You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym (unless you want to – and with proper supervision!) because you can do many safe pregnancy workout routines at home.
As with anything else, even if you are having an easy pregnancy, don’t forget to get your doctor’s go-signal before trying out any of these exercise routines! And after you get the go-signal, proceed with caution and don’t overdo it.
6 Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, it is so tempting to stay in bed the whole day. Common in most pregnancies, the feeling of tiredness and fatigue is the result of hormonal changes, lower blood pressure, and lower sugar levels.
In other words, it is normal to feel sluggish, especially during the first trimester. This is due to your body working double-time – even triple-time – to make way for your new baby.
However, as much as you need to spend time resting, you also need to get moving. Don’t worry; it gets easier! Here are six of the reasons why you should exercise regularly during pregnancy.
- It increases energy.
- It helps improve heart health.
- It reduces pain and discomfort.
- It can help shorten labor time.
- It reduces risk of gestational diabetes.
- It boosts your self-esteem!
7 Easy Exercises for Pregnant Women
First in our list is the universally prescribed exercise for almost every pregnant woman: walking! Walking is such a simple exercise that can be done by everyone. You don’t need a specific equipment for it, and it’s incredibly flexible. You can do it whenever you want and wear whatever you want (except, maybe, for some walking shoes or sneakers).
A great thing about walking is that you can do it until right before you give birth. In fact, many doctors recommend pregnant women to walk even during the onset of labor to help you have an easier time giving birth.
Swimming just might be one of the most perfect physical activities that perfect women can do. Swimming is gentle on the body, and because you are underwater, you will feel lighter. Thus, you won’t need to exert extra effort to carry the extra weight of your baby.
There are also a lot of benefits to swimming. For one, it relieves foot swelling and eases body aches and cramps. It increases your endurance, which helps a lot in making labor easier. Many pregnant women also say that swimming has helped provide relief from nausea.
Pregnancy is no excuse to stop dancing! Dancing is a good form of exercise that allows you to have fun at the same time. Just play some music and you are good to go. If you prefer a more organized form of exercising, you may also try joining Zumba classes that are especially for pregnant women.
Low-impact dancing is beneficial in maintaining your flexibility, which is crucial for giving birth smoothly. It also helps improve your muscle mass, and it aids in keeping your heart and lungs healthy. Dancing also improves blood circulation and overall well-being.
Prenatal yoga has become more common among pregnant women—and for good reason. A typical prenatal yoga involves breathing, stretching, practicing different postures and positions, and relaxation. It may also involve meditation and focusing on your own body and rhythm.
Prenatal yoga is said to be able to relieve all the stresses that come with pregnancy, both physical and mental stress. It increases strength, flexibility, and endurance, which helps for a smooth labor. It will also improve the quality of your sleep, which is something every pregnant woman needs!
Prenatal Pilates is a low-impact workout that can be done by most pregnant women. It works on both strength-training and flexibility by focusing on areas that are critical for maintaining good posture and balance. These areas include the core muscles (abs), back muscles, and the pelvic floor.
Because Prenatal Pilates focuses on strength and flexibility, doing this exercise will have a good impact on your labor and delivery. It also improves circulation, which prevents swelling and edema. In addition, doing these exercises is also said to make your after-birth recovery faster.
If you had been regularly running prior to becoming pregnant, then it is safe to continue running during pregnancy. However, if you didn’t run or were only running occasionally before pregnancy, then it is probably a good idea to not start running now.
Running during pregnancy lowers the risk of you developing gestational diabetes. Aside from that, it also reduces body aches, cramps, and the pains and discomforts that usually come with pregnancy. Plus, a study says that running while pregnant is good for your baby’s heart!
7. Weight Training
Just like running, if you had been strength or weight training before you got pregnant, then it should be fine to continue doing so during pregnancy with some modification. Otherwise, it is definitely unwise to start weight training now, which is also true for any other high impact or strenuous exercises.
Weight training when you’re expecting is a great way to build muscles as well as strength and endurance. This exercise is helpful in reducing discomfort, cramps, and body aches. It also helps improve the labor experience, shortening the time and minimizing complications.
These safe and easy low-impact exercises are perfect for most pregnant women, and they will result in many beneficial consequences for both you and your baby.