Learn all about exercises during pregnancy. Walking, swimming running, aerobics etc. Benefits of exercising during pregnancy and exercises to avoid.
Exercise is a major part of an everyday
healthy life. Women often think that exercise during pregnancy may harm the
However, it is found that pregnant women, who
regularly exercises before their pregnancy, suffer less pain during labour. Also
the duration of labour for such women has been found to have been shorter
compared to an averageduration of labour.
Before you start
your exercise routine during pregnancy, it is a good idea to know which
exercises during pregnancy are safe for the mother. We have already listed how
exercising during pregnancy has a lot of benefit for the mother.
Please make sure
that you don’t excessively exercise during your pregnancy since physical
exertion during pregnancy has negative effects both on the expecting mother and
her baby. Some of the recommendedsafe daily
exercises for pregnant women are mentioned below.
Safe Exercises during Pregnancy
Walking is a
relatively risk-free exercise that can very easily be added to your daily
routine as it can be done anywhere and requires no equipment other than a pair
of sneakers and a comfortable change of clothes. It is an exercise that can and
should be done during all 9 months of your pregnancy. Furthermore, by walking
outside and breathing-in fresh air, both your body and mind will feel fresh.
One can walk to the nearby park or on a treadmill, for10-20 minswhich
may not be vigorous.
Physicians and fitness experts both highly recommend
swimming as a form of exercise for pregnant women. Swimming is best for giving
strength to your abdominal muscles. It is the safest way of moving your body as
being submerged in water greatly reduces the risk of injury or trauma to the
abdomen. Additionally, swimming provides tremendous cardiovascular benefits as
it is known to be the world’s only form of exercise which utilizes every single
muscle of the body. Therefore, swimming helps trim extra weight, reduces
swelling of the limbs, and alleviates lower back pain.
Partaking in aerobic exercise and water aerobics
during pregnancy can strengthen the heart and increase overall fitness. It is
recommended to do aerobics under the purview of an experienced instructor to
ensure that the exercises are being conducted properly and safely. Aerobics may
not be considered safe if high kicks and jumping etc. is involved as part of
the aerobics exercise.
Running is considered safe during thefirst
trimesterof pregnancy only for those women who regularly ran
prior to pregnancy. The intensity or speed of the run varies between
individuals, and it is best to consult your healthcare provider as there are
numerous factors, including overall health andtrimesteryou
are in etc., that can limit your running during pregnancy.
An easy way to stay healthy and fit while
also enjoying yourself is to slip on (your flat, safe, and comfortable) dancing
shoes. Nevertheless, try to stay on the ground and avoid any moves that could
end in falls or injury.
Yoga has been
relaxing and beneficial in pregnancy. It is useful in strengthening the pelvic
floor muscle and prevents the effects of pregnancy on women such as nausea ,
vomiting, bloating, leg cramps etc and may help in making the labor hassle free
and shortens the duration of labour.
Following are among the benefits to be gleaned from
regular exercise during the course of pregnancy. However, despite the general
safety of exercising during pregnancy, it is imperative to consult your
healthcare provider prior to undertaking an exercise regimen.
#1 Maintained weight gain
Weight gain in pregnancyis gradual and
it gets massive by the end of the pregnancy which makes harder for the mother
to reduce it post pregnancy. Weight reduction must not be followed immediately
after pregnancy which is uncomfortable and unsafe for the mother. However, its
takes some effort for the new mother to reduce her baby weight gained during
her pregnancy period. Regular exercising during pregnancy helps women maintain
her weight throughout her pregnancy. Regular exercise during pregnancy also
gives the pregnant mother’s body the flexibility and the strength to continue
her workout even after the birth of the baby.
#2 Reduction in stress
Pregnancy brings a lot of stress for the woman. The
major reasons for stress during pregnancy include:
The stress to
continue house work while pregnant,
Thoughts of a
possibly painful labour experience
mood swings etc.
Experts suggest that regularly exercises during
pregnancy for 10 to 20 minutes helps relieve some stress off the pregnant
woman’s body and her mind.
#3 Body pain alleviation
Increase inweight gain, stretching of the muscles and hormonal changes
may cause body aches such as leg cramps, lower back pain,headacheetc.
#4 Reduces risk of gestational diabetes
It decreases the risk of developingdiabetes during pregnancyas exercising
helps burning the extra fat a woman gains and stores around her body.
#5 Increased strength during labour
Exercise improves muscular strength and helps in
flexing the pelvic floor muscles thereby reducing labour pain and shorter
When NOT to
exercise during pregnancy
Typically, exercise is not recommended for the
pregnant woman if she has:
2. A very low BMI (i.e. BMI < 15) or very high BMI
(i.e. BMI > 35) weight prior to pregnancy.
3. Placental previa (low-lying placenta), a weakened
cervix, or vaginal bleeding.
4. Experienced a threatened miscarriage during the
current pregnancy or have a history of pastmiscarriages.
5. Expecting more than one child (twins, triplets,
However, the above mentioned may vary from case to
case basis and there may be other conditions that may restrict a pregnant woman
from exercising other than the ones mentioned here. Therefore, it is highly
recommended to consult with your healthcare provider prior to beginning an
Exercises that should be avoided are those that can
generally cause harm to an individual such as:
· Heavy weightlifting
· Contact sports such as hockey and football etc.,
· Skiing and horseback riding -activities which have
a high risk of falling.
Additionally, exercises that involve lying on your
back should be avoided in the third trimester so as to avoid hypotension and labored
breathing due to the compression of veins by the uterus.
Welcome to Babyinfo – the ultimate pregnancy and newborn information guide. We are here to help you find all the pregnancy and baby info you need to make the most beautiful experience of your life even better.
Our team is comprised of an amazing mix of experienced mothers, recently pregnant women, and editors with tremendous medical knowledge in the fields of gynaecology and childbirth.
Think of us as your friendly advisors, here to give you honest, easy to understand and authentic information. We are here to be your support at this crucial time in your life, when you need it the most.
Note: This website is in no way meant to replace doctors, hospitals, or other healthcare providers that may be utilized by current mothers or mothers-to-be. All mothers are advised to see a doctor for medical advice and the appropriate care before, during, and after pregnancy.