Is Exercise Safe During Pregnancy?
Whether you are a fitness enthusiast or not before pregnancy, as soon as you saw the two lines on the pregnancy test stick, you immediately became cautious in every move, fearing any wrong movement would harm the precious little cargo in your womb. Indeed, healthcare providers discourage exercises for the first trimester. This is to allow your body to adapt to the hormonal roller coaster with the new fetus.
Nonetheless, exercise during pregnancy works wonders for both you and your baby! Here’s why:
• Better posture, stronger body
The right moves can ease common discomforts like back pain and sleep troubles. Your postures can also be improved with strengthened and toned muscles in your back, buttocks and thighs. By activating the lubricating fluid in your joints through exercising, the wear and tear on your joints – which become loosened during pregnancy as the hormone changes – could also be prevented if not minimized.
• Prepare you and your body for childbirth
With regular and moderate exercises during pregnancy, you’ll gain stronger muscles and a fitter heart, which can greatly ease labour and delivery when the time comes. In the event of a lengthy labour – fingers crossed! – an increased endurance from trainings would help your body survive the process!
• Back to where it started – quicker!
And by “where it started” we meant your pre-pregnancy body – having regular exercises during pregnancy can help you regain your pre-pregnancy body quicker. But never expect or try to lose weight by exercising while you’re pregnant. Maintaining your fitness level throughout pregnancy would suffice.
• Happy you, happy pregnancy
Everyone knows your body gives you happy hormone Endorphins while exercising. Boosting up your happy hormone by exercising lifts up your mood and gives you a great day ahead!
The verdict? Let’s get your baby bump movin’!
As soon as you reached second trimester, you may – after consulting and confirming with your healthcare providers – start exercising in a moderate manner.
So what sort of exercises should you start with?
Most experts recommended walking – it’s easy to vary the pace, and you can walk anytime, anywhere. Try getting off one bus stop earlier than the usual one and walk to work. Then two bus stops earlier. Then three bus stops – increase the distances bit by bit and you would find yourself enjoying the morning stroll more (Of course do time yourself and don’t show up late at work!)
If you’re looking for some exercises to stretch your body – yoga would be the best to go for. Yoga exercises designed for pregnant mothers can help minimize tension in the pelvis and lower back while strengthening the muscles. It is also a golden opportunity to practice using the mind and breath to stay comfortable during labour, preparing you for the delivery mentally and physically.
Experts find swimming especially appealing since it’s gentle on the joints and relieves swollen ankles – common problems among pregnant mothers – while giving you welcome buoyancy no matter how big your baby bump is!
Sounds good so far. But have you ever wondered what you should avoid?
Unless the doctor advises you otherwise, it’s wise to avoid any activities that involve:
• Impulsive body contact
• A sudden change of direction – since a changing centre of gravity makes falls much more likely
• Jarring – anything that would cause a lot of up and down movement
• Risk of abdominal injury
STOP EXERCISING and SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION if you experience any of these warning signs during any type of exercises:-
• unusual pain especially in the abdominal area
• racing heartbeat or chest pain
• unusual shortness of breath
• fluid leaking from your vagina
• vaginal bleeding
• uterine contractions
Listen to your body and your doctor – always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise programme!