EXERCISING DURING PREGNANCY
Ok, so now you are in that blissful place in your life where you are pregnant and dreaming of the day when you will finally get to hold your bundle of joy in your arms. But that doesn’t mean you have to let other aspects of life slide, which essentially translates to mean that you have to keep fit to enable you to deliver your child naturally and safely.
Exercising is an important part of pregnancy as you need to keep moving. Exercising during pregnancy reduces the aches and pains of the process aside from other discomforts such as back pain; it also provides more energy, a better body self-image as well as faster recovery to the pre-pregnancy shape post-delivery. Regular exercising also strengthens the body muscles, especially the abdominal muscles needed for getting through delivery and back into your earlier shape.
Contrary to old wives tales, most exercises are safe during pregnancy as long as caution is taken in not overdoing it. Some of the safest exercises include swimming, brisk walking, low-impact aerobics and prenatal yoga stretches. Practicing yoga during pregnancy is one of the best ways to keep your mood upbeat and your mind and body balanced. Exercising on the indoor stationary cycle and step or elliptical machines is also safe and keeps your circulation moving.
As the body gets heavier with each trimester, the exercises need to be moderated and adjusted accordingly. Here are some tips on how to go about your body moves with each trimester:
This is the trimester where everything is still almost the way it was prior to pregnancy and you can do almost the same routines that you were following prior to pregnancy. This is also a good time to start some prenatal yoga classes or Pilates, a useful habit to carry on throughout the course of pregnancy. However, each individual is different and if you feel that exercising makes you feel sluggish, then maybe you need to reduce the duration of your workout – just don’t miss out on it altogether!
By now you have started to get heavier and your heart has to work harder to pump all the blood you have been building up the past three months. Accordingly, you need to cut down on the intensity of your cardio workouts by about 30% to compensate for the extra load.
However, rest assured that this level will also make you feel equally worked out. This is the time to switch to stationary biking in case you are a cyclist and also reduce pressure on your growing belly. Doing inverted positions in yoga should be avoided from this stage onwards.
This is your last trimester when your joints are more vulnerable, so beware of lifting heavy weights – carrying weights in a seated position with back support might be better. Walking might be better than jogging at this stage, but swimming is the best option as it won’t stress your joints.