Pregnancy comes with a lot of things right? You are aching, you can’t sleep, your legs are swelling, you feel bloated and constipated, you are passing a lot of gas. All these symptoms are not really pleasant for any one. Let alone a pregnant woman. You always keep wondering if there is anything that can help you reduce the aching, swelling and other unpleasant sides of pregnancy. YES !!! There is!! It takes only 30 minutes of light or moderate exercise during pregnancy to keep you and your body happy and healthy. Working out during pregnancy might be the easiest available option that works on ALL those pregnancy symptoms.
Thought pregnancy was time to take it easy? Not anymore. There are researches that say “Women (with normal pregnancy) should workout in pregnancy for at least 30 minutes a day (a few days a week if not everyday).
In India, all the ladies who are homemakers already get a lot of movement throughout the day and we tend to think that we do not need any more exercise. In ancient days our grandmothers and great grandmothers would do a lot of work, which has exponentially reduced because of the change in careers and women going out and helping their partners financially.
However it is necessary for all the pregnant women these days to spend half an hour everyday on themselves and their body to keep themselves and their baby healthy. There are a boatload of benefits of exercising during pregnancy.
Benefits Of Exercising During Pregnancy:
- Improves Your Stamina
- Enhances the quality of your sleep
- Improves your mood
- Strengthens your back and helps with back aches.
- Boosts Your Digestion
- Helps with labour
- Speeds up your postpartum recovery
You need to consult your doctor before you start exercising. They will give you a set of activities you should not do during pregnancy. Excluding that you can start exercising during your pregnancy without any worries. Exercising during pregnancy is very good for you and your baby. It does not matter whether you never exercised before or you were working out a lot before. It is beneficial to start once your doctor gives you a green signal.
You don’t fit into your old fitness gear anymore ? You cannot perform your old workout routine anymore? Now that you are exercising for yourself and your little one, you need to make sure you do it the right way. Below few tips can help you ease your way through exercising when you are pregnant.
Best Care Tips for Exercising During Pregnancy
Meet your Doctor and Get the Green Signal For Exercising During Pregnancy
Before you start gearing up, you need to go and meet your doctor. Ask he if you can start exercising. Your doctor will consider your health and in most cases they will always give you a green signal for exercising during pregnancy. Only in a few medical conditions they might ask you to not perform a certain exercise or ask you to not exercise at all. Exercising has a lot of pregnancy and if you are at a risk of gestational diabetes, doctors might suggest you regular exercise to control it.
Ask your doctor what exercise routines are good for you (if you are a beginner). If you are a regular exercises then tell them about your routines, they will tell you whether it is safe to continue your routine. So moms go ahead and get your green signal!
Start out as a Turtle:
If you are new to exercising, start slowly. You need to get your pregnant body ready for exercising. It is always exciting to push yourself on the first day itself, but this will lead to tiredness, soreness and more exhaustion and sometimes abrupt stops. When you start workout during pregnancy, start by warming up for 10 minutes and then doing a 5 minutes of moderate exercise. Day by day increase the time of moderate exercise after the warm ups. You can perform up to 30 minutes of moderate exercise during pregnancy. You need to stop if it gets tiring for you. Increase the time only when your body is adjusted well.
If you have been a strenuous exerciser before, it is fine if you feel like maintaining it. But it is not advisable to try to beat your own threshold to achieve a milestone. Do what seems comfortable to your body.
Move gradually through the start and slow down towards the end.
Warm ups can feel like eternity when you start exercising and want to get it done with. However it is an important aspect of exercising. More important in pregnancy so you can prepare your body for exercising. It helps you body increase circulation and heart rate gradually. Starting slowly and increasing the intensity gradually helps avoid injuring your joints or muscles. They are very susceptible to injuries during cold seasons and pregnancy. So walk for sometime before you start jogging, enjoy the water a little before swimming, stretching before yoga.
Consider joining a pregnant mom’s class
Many to be moms who are disciplined will surely get out of the bed for exercising easily. But many moms need motivation and a push to continue working out during pregnancy with a discipline. It is a nice idea and fun to join other pregnant moms for fitness classes designed specially for them. Make sure the class has 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 3 times a week.
Checkout the class for cleanliness, individual training or trainer who is certified to guide pregnant women. If you get trial classes, go and try it out before you join any class. Trust me before you know you will have your own pregnant group to discuss everything with.
If you cannot physically go to classes, there are many virtual programs available online. Try whatever suits you best and gear up for working out during pregnancy!
Set time and strictly follow it while working out during pregnancy
Too little exercise cannot be beneficial, too much exercise during pregnancy can lead to other problems. You need to time your exercise from warm ups to moderate intensity exercises somewhere between half an hour to an hour. Set your timer for the same and remind yourself to cool down before you end your session.
Don’t push yourself too far
It is a bad idea to exercise to the point of exhaustion during pregnancy. Even if you were a regular workout person before you were expecting, it is still very important to take it slow during pregnancy. Never exhaust yourself when exercising. Exhaustion after exercising is not a good sign, it means you are overdoing it. You can ask your trainer or health expert whether workout out to full capacity is beneficial.
However there are a few ways you can tell whether you are overdoing it. If it feels okay, it is probably okay. You should not feel any pain or strain after exercising. Excessive sweating is also not good for a pregnant woman. You should be able to make a conversation when you work out. Workout hard enough to breathe heavily, but not to a point where you are so out of breath that you cannot talk.
Have fun while exercising during pregnancy
You need to enjoy your workout. So choose a routine that makes you look forward to it and not dread it. This keeps you going on days you can’t like when you are simply exhausted or feel too big for exercise. Enjoy what you do!
When your body says stop, Stop!
Your body will signal you to stop by saying “I am tired!”. This is your cue to stop exercising (especially during pregnancy). Small pains here and there does not matter that much. But pops and swelling which doesn’t subside can be a dangerous sign. Call your doctor right away. If you have pain in the back, chest or pelvis etc , lightheadedness, dizziness that doesn’t go away are not good signs. See you doctor and get your health checked. So when you body says stop, you need to stop.
Respect your body as it changes
Your body changes throughout pregnancy. Your body balance shifts, you will start gaining weight. You might need to change your exercise routine between your pregnancy according to your body. You might have to take more breaks in between. Normal working out routine out may feel different during pregnancy.
If you normally walk you may find that walking in pregnancy can feel more pressure on your hips and knees. After the first trimester it is not advisable to do any exercise that has you lying on your back or too long without moving. It can restrict your blood flow.
Change your workout clothes and shoes
You might not fit into your old exercise clothes during pregnancy. Also it is advisable to wear breathable and loose clothes while working out during pregnancy. Your body must be cool. Choose a supportive sports bra but it must not be too tight. Choose the correct fitting footwear. This will help you have a better footing while exercising.
Cool down your exercising during pregnancy last trimester
By the 8th and 9th month your body might indicate to you that reducing the exercises a little feels good. Listen to your body! In the third trimester brisk walking, stretching and water workout might be enough for your body. If you feel the need to continue your previous exercise routine, ask your doctor and if she says it is okay to continue exercising then it should not be a problem.
Don’t sit for stretched hours
Sitting for a long time can cause blood to pool into the veins in your leg and it might cause swelling. You should not sit for too long in the same place without moving. It is advised to take a 5 to 10 minutes walk every hour in your pregnancy. This will help you have a better blood circulation.
If your work involves sitting in a place for long, try taking a walk break every hour. Try doing stretches by flexing your legs, wriggling your toes. You can also tighten your abdominal muscles and pelvis muscles in the place you sit. Also moving your hands and arms from time to time can help you have a proper circulation to your arms, avoiding swelling. Working out your muscles during pregnancy is crucial to avoid cramps.
Drink lots of water
You should be hydrating yourself while exercising during pregnancy. It is important to take water and pee breaks while working out. You need to compensate for the loss of fluids by perspiration by drinking lots of fluid. It is important to have water before, during and after exercising. You should take maximum 16 ounces at a time.
Stay cool while exercising during pregnancy
Women exercising during pregnancy need to keep a check on their temperature. Any environment or exercise should not increase your body temperature by more than 1.5 degrees. When the temperature increases the blood flows away from skin and away from the uterus as the body tries to cool off the risen temperature.
So it is advisable to stay away from steam baths, saunas or hot tubs and working out in very hot or humid climate.Try to find as cool environment as possible for your happy workout session.
You should continue your flow of exercising during pregnancy. It is not good if you workout hard for 4 times one week and not at all the next week. It is a good idea to divide your workout evenly through the weeks. If you don’t like strenuous workout. Change to a simple routine you will like. For example walk every day and do moderate exercise two or three times a week. Follow the same pattern throughout the next few weeks.
Working out everyday during pregnancy is very beneficial and advisable by most of the doctors. It helps you keep your health in check. Exercising benefits your baby in ways you cannot imagine. It might help you jump back into pre-pregnancy health and body sooner.
Yes, there will be days specially in those first and second trimesters when you have fatigue, morning sickness and what not. You won’t feel like moving your fingers, let alone working out during pregnancy. But do it!! Push yourself to exercise a little at least during pregnancy, because there has never been a better time or better reason to exercise, so get yourself moving mothers!!