Exercise during pregnancy

How Regular Exercise Can Benefit You During Pregnancy

How Regular Exercise Can Benefit You During Pregnancy
Exercise during pregnancy

How Regular Exercise Can Benefit You During Pregnancy

 

When you are pregnant, you’re not only responsible for yourself but also for your little one’s well-being. It’s important to start taking care of your health from the first trimester itself to avoid complications throughout gestation. Exercise is a great way to stay fit mentally and physically and avoid pregnancy related problems like constipation, morning sickness, gestational diabetes, nausea and more. Not only does exercise help avoid complications, but it also helps build stamina which will eventually help in a safe and normal delivery.

Women are advised to exercise for 20-30 minutes 3-4 times a week. Here are some things to keep in mind before you start.

Exercises to do during pregnancy

Mild exercise is the way to go to a healthy pregnancy. You can do simple stretching exercises, brisk walking, stationary cycling and low-impact aerobics to keep your body active during pregnancy. These exercises can be performed until delivery and have very low risk of damage to the foetus.  

Kegel exercises are highly recommended during pregnancy since they help strengthen the muscles in the uterus, bladder and bowels. These exercises will help you relax and control your muscles, helping you prepare for labour and birth. These exercises also help post delivery to heal the tissues and muscles and strengthen the pelvic floor again.  

Exercises to avoid during pregnancy

While it is important to stay active, make sure you’re not exerting yourself too much. Avoid activities which might involve holding your breath for a long time, like underwater swimming. It’s best to avoid contact sports which have a risk of you falling like football, basketball and more. Avoid bouncing, extensive stretching, sit-ups, skipping, running and anything that might cause too much pressure around the abdomen area.

If at any point you notice vaginal bleeding, chest pain, abdominal pain, pelvic pain, foetal movement, muscle weakness or any other abnormality, immediately reach out to your doctor.

Who shouldn’t exercise during pregnancy?

While exercise helps most pregnant women stay active, some women are advised to avoid too much movement. If you have any existing medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, and hypertension or have had a premature birth or complications in a previous pregnancy, it’s best to avoid exercise. However, you can speak to your doctor to figure out activities that you can do which might not cause harm to the baby.

Things to keep in mind

While exercising during pregnancy is completely safe, it’s important to make sure you’re comfortable. Wear loose clothes and proper sports shoes and always exercise on a flat surface to avoid injury. Make sure you stay hydrated throughout to avoid dizziness and nausea. Never exert yourself to the point of exhaustion since it might cause damage to your baby’s health. More importantly, make sure your meals have the right amount of calories and other nutrients that you and your baby might need.

While exercise is an important part of staying active during pregnancy, everyone is different and they react differently to various factors of pregnancy. Make sure you speak to your doctor before you chart out an exercise routine to know exactly which activities will benefit you and which might not be suitable to your body.

 

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