Along with delight, pregnancy brings along some discomforts. Fatigue, backaches, sleeplessness, anxiety, and constipation are very common. Exercising regularly during pregnancy can do wonders for you and your baby. There are evidences that exercising during pregnancy can also help prevent, and at least control, Gestational Diabetes.
Exercising to a schedule during pregnancy is known to help relieve stress and boost stamina. It helps preparing your body for labour and delivery. Even if you haven’t been the kinds who are regular with exercises in general, don’t get worried. Brisk walking is a good way to begin. Avoid any strenuous activity that could harm you or your baby.
Some useful exercises during pregnancy are:
- Brisk Walking
- Yoga (under supervision, initially)
- Low-impact aerobics (under supervision/ guidance)
- Jogging (slow, and in moderation)
It is extremely important to consult your doctor before you start any exercise regimen. Remember – your doctor is the best person to provide you a solution, based on your medical history.
In case of any past or prevailing conditions of Asthma, or any Heart-related conditions, special care might have to be taken.
Consult your doctor on the type of exercises that are suitable for you. Walking however remains an all-time favourite – as long as it’s not too cold, and the air is reasonably clean. Women with complications like – low placenta, weak cervix, vaginal bleeding/spotting or those with a history of threatened or recurrent miscarriages and early labour may also need to avoid exercising during pregnancy.
Some guidelines to follow while exercising during pregnancy:
- Consult your obstetrician: Ask your obstetrician about the type of exercises you should engage in. Also, confirm the time duration you have to spend regularly on exercising. If you regularly exercised before pregnancy, follow the same set of activities barring the ones that involve high-impact movements like – jumping, spinning, rigorous twisting, and lying on your back. The type and intensity of exercises will change, as your pregnancy progresses.
- Get enough calories: Ensure a balanced calorie intake as you’re likely to gain weight during pregnancy. To ensure a healthy pregnancy, you must make sure that you meet your required calorie intake.
For BMI between 18.5 and 24.9, an additional intake of 340 calories is needed. This calorie intake should be increased with progress in pregnancy. Proper water intake is also recommended.
- Keep away from dangerous sports: Basketball, horseback riding, surfing, water skiing, gymnastics, downhill skiing, racquet games, or mountain biking are to be avoided. Mild cycling is acceptable.
- Choose wisely what to wear: Wear loose-fitted breathable clothing and the right workout shoes.
- Warming up: Warming up is a must before a work out. Warming up prepares your muscles and joints for exercises and increases your heart rate at a slower pace. By skipping the much needed warm-up session and diving into strenuous activity right away, you can strain your muscles and ligaments, leading to serious muscle injury.
- Lying down position: Avoid lying flat on your back and exercising as your pregnancy progress, as this position can put pressure on a major nerve (vena cava) which in turn can curtail blood flow to the heart making you dizzy, short of breath, or nauseated.
Some other tips to keep in mind are:
- Don’t be inactive for too long
- Don’t overdo any activity
- Take adequate rest after working out
- Avoid exercising during extreme climate
- While rising up, avoid knee-jerk movements
- Do not skip your exercise schedule
- Introduce breathing exercises as your developing baby and other internal changes require more oxygen and energy.
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