Did you know that safe pregnancy exercises at home help you prepare for childbirth by strengthening your muscles and regain your pre-pregnancy shape?
Did you also know that exercising during pregnancy is actually safe and may even lower the risk of miscarriage? No, right?
In fact, you will be surprised to know that pregnancy exercises not only lower your anxiety but also helps in preventing high blood pressure and gestational diabetes which is a condition in which women develop diabetes during pregnancy.
If you are pregnant for the first time and not sure how to go about with the pregnancy exercises at home schedule, Don’t panic!
Given below are certain salient tips that can guide you through this manoeuvre and are safe during pregnancy
- Use a tortoise approach. Go slow! Don’t attempt any vigorous, strenuous exercises. Always consult your physician before any such endeavour. The rule of thumb is – Don’t exert yourself! You can start by walking a short distance. Usually, around 30 minutes of regular walk is recommended.
- If you know swimming, then consider practising it as it helps in exercising the muscles of the arms and legs as well as reducing the swelling of the feet. However, make sure that you do this activity only under the supervision of an experienced trainer.
- You can also perform yoga and stretching exercises, as stretching helps reduce muscle strain.
- Make sure you eat well and drink a lot of fluids, as exercise burns calories. Have enough calories in your food which are essential for the growth and nourishment of your baby.
- Avoid lying flat on the back for a long time while performing exercises, as this can put pressure on the large vein that returns blood back to the heart. This may cause breathlessness and giddiness.
- Wear a sports bra during the exercise, as it gives support to your breast.
Here are some safe pregnancy exercises at home
- Pelvic tilts: This exercise strengthens the muscles in your abdomen and also help alleviate back pain during pregnancy and labour.
- Plie: This exercise not only strengthens the hamstrings, buttocks, and quadriceps but also maintains balance.
- One-arm row: This exercise strengthens the back, biceps, and triceps.
- Squats: You can practice squatting exercise during pregnancy as squatting during labor opens the pelvic outlet which helps the baby descend easily.
- Kneeling pushups: This move targets core and upper body strengthening together.
Your gynaecologist or healthcare practitioner can be the best person to guide you with regards to the correct technique of pregnancy exercises to be performed. Do not attempt any sort of strenuous exercise during pregnancy. If you feel you can pull off with a difficult exercise, kindly perform it under the supervision of an experienced trainer who has worked with pregnancy exercises in the past.
Which activities should a pregnant female ideally avoid?
A pregnant female should avoid the following activities during pregnancy:
- Contact sports such as hockey, boxing, soccer, basketball, and football
- Activities that may result in a fall, such as downhill skiing, surfing, water skiing, gymnastics, mountain biking, and horseback riding
- Scuba diving
- Activities involving you to climb high altitudes
Although pregnancy exercises at home can have their benefits. However you should STOP exercising immediately if you see the following signs and symptoms:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Rapid heartbeat (palpitations)
- Pain in the abdomen and chest
- A headache
- Absence or decrease in fetal movements
- Sudden swelling of the ankles, hands, or face
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2. Exercise during pregnancy [Internet] [Updated Sep 2, 2016]. Available at: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/exercise-during-pregnancy/. Accessed on Mar 28, 2018.
3. Hanson T. 5 simple pregnancy exercises at home for every trimester [Internet]. Available at: https://www.fitpregnancy.com/exercise/prenatal-workouts/5-simple-pregnancy-exercises-every-trimester. Accessed on Mar 28, 2018.
4. Fleck A. Exercise during pregnancy [Internet] [Updated Feb 10, 2017]. Available at: http://www.babyandcompany.com/exercise-during-pregnancy/. Accessed on Mar 28, 2018.
5. Exercise during pregnancy [Internet]. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/exercise-during-pregnancy#3. Accessed on Mar 28, 2018.