It is widely agreed upon by experts that keeping active during pregnancy does wonders for both the expecting mother, as well as the baby. If you are expecting, light exercise and physical activity boosts mood, improves sleep, and reduces dreaded pregnancy aches and pains. Staying physically active while pregnant also strengthens your muscles and builds endurance- which will help you during actual childbirth. Besides all the benefits for you and the baby, exercising during pregnancy will also help in a major way to lose those post-baby pounds. But before you start that workout plan, it is very important to consult your healthcare provider before starting. Here are some exercises you can do to keep your body and your baby healthy:
Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise especially for pregnant women as it causes the least stress to the body- just make sure to wear comfortable shoes and make it a leisurely affair. Swimming is considered one of the best exercises for pregnant women because it is safe and is ideal because it exercises both large muscle groups (arms & legs). There are many low-impact aerobics classes provided for pregnant women which will strengthen your heart and tone your body. Joining a class with other expecting moms will also build camaraderie and assurance that each exercise is safe for both you and the baby. Dancing is a fun and simple way to keep moving even in the comforts of your own living room. Just make sure to steer clear from complicated or intense moves that might not be safe for you or the baby such as jumping, leaping or twirling.
Flexibility and Strength
Simple yoga moves or yoga tailored for pregnant women maintains your muscle tone during and after your pregnancy. Easy stretching daily is also a great way to stay limber and relaxed amidst stress from tiring days. Stretching also helps prevent muscle strain from daily activities. Incorporate these flexibility exercises into your cardiovascular routine to get a full body work out.
Weight training should not be left out if this was already part of your workout pre-pregnancy. But take proper precaution- make sure to lift only light weights and make up for it by increasing the number of repetitions to get a good workout. It is also important to do slow and controlled movements all throughout the workout.
Kegel exercises aid in strengthening the muscles that support the bladder, uterus, and bowels. It is vital to strengthen these muscles during pregnancy so that you will be able to relax and control your muscles in preparation for labor and birth. Kegel exercises are also recommended during the postpartum period to help with the regeneration of perineal tissues, increase pelvic floor strength, and help muscles return to a healthy state. Five sets of Kegel exercises a day is the standard recommendation for pregnant women.