Exercise is a challenging yet extremely effective way to improve and maintain physical and mental health during pregnancy. Physical activity impacts not just the health of the pregnant woman, but also that of the growing baby.
The advantages of regular exercise during pregnancy are aplenty and can range from reduced morning sickness, reduced stress and anxiety, reduced tiredness, reduced chances of constipation and haemorrhoids, reduced risk of complications such as Gestational Diabetes and Hypertension.
At the same time, exercise elevates mood, improves the sleeping pattern and helps manage unnecessary weight gain during and after pregnancy. It also makes the process of childbirth relatively easier and reduces the chances of a Caesarean Section.
HOW MUCH EXERCISE IS RECOMMENDED?
In early pregnancy, the goal should be to establish an exercise routine that best suits the pregnant woman.
The big question here is how much exercise is right for you?
And the answer to this lies in how active you were before pregnancy.
It is not advisable to begin with a new exercise regime that can affect the growing baby. So if you had been exercising regularly before getting pregnant, it is better to consult your doctor and reduce the intensity of your workout gradually to a level considered safe during pregnancy.
According to health experts, it is advised that pregnant women should do moderate-intensity, low-impact exercise for at least 30 min, 5 days a week.
SAFEST FIRST TRIMESTER WORKOUTS:
This is one of the gentlest and most comfortable forms of exercise for the early days of pregnancy.
Women who have been running before getting pregnant can gradually transition from walking to jogging as long as they feel comfortable.
Helps develop mindfulness skills that can be very helpful during childbirth, such as controlled breathing and meditation.
However, certain exercises like Backbends and difficult postures should be avoided.
Help develop core strength and balance & eases low back pain associated with weight gain.
Swimming & Water Aerobics
Help in muscle development and flexibility while developing core strength. It is one of the best forms of low impact exercises that increase oxygen and blood flow through the pregnant body.
It is an aerobic exercise that develops strength and is a healthy alternative to standard cycling which can be associated with a risk of falling and injuries.
Low-intensity weight training
it is generally safe to do low-intensity moderate weight-lifting to improve core strength. However, weight lifting that involves laying on the back, lifting weights over the belly and straining should be avoided.
Exercise during early pregnancy is entirely safe, provided all instructions given by your doctor are followed in principle. Moderate Exercise actually soothes many of the aches and discomfort associated with early pregnancy, and continuing to exercise helps the pregnant woman cope with the changes occurring in her body. At this stage of pregnancy, the body is trying to grow a tiny human being. So, listen to your body, as it will tell you when to stop and take it easy.
Keep yourself hydrated;
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes;
Wear non-slippery, comfortable shoes;
Recognize any warning symptoms;
Set goals that are realistic & achievable;
Breathe and keep a watch on your heart rate while exercising.
DO NOT FORGET to stop and rest anytime you feel tired or weak.