Exercising during pregnancy is of utmost importance. Gone are the pleasant days when women used to spend nine months of their pregnancy comfortably at home. Today women not only shoulder household responsibilities but also engage professionally. The dual role leaves her with little or no time to take care of her own health, and the challenge gets notched up further during pregnancy. Exercises during pregnancy play a crucial role in maintaining the health of the mother and the baby both during and after pregnancy. Extensive study has shown that during normal pregnancy it is significant for the women, to undertake certain amount of light and moderate physical exercise.
Irrespective of being a homemaker or a professional, the type of the exercise should be tailored keeping in mind the requirements of each and every development stage of pregnancy. The workout plan should include the details about the type of exercise, frequency, intensity and duration of the proposed physical activity.
Types of Exercises during Pregnancy
Staying physically active by doing important types of light exercises during pregnancy are considered to be extremely beneficial both for the mother and foetus. But it is equally important to monitor the individual health and fitness levels before an appropriate regimen is suggested. Since the body is expected to change the shape and structure, the physical activity should be remodeled accordingly, by adjusting its intensity and duration.
- The pelvic floor exercises are an excellent and essential workout which can be started from the initial stage of pregnancy.
- Women who have prior regular exercise practice can continue brisk walking and light jogging.
- Heavy exercise helps in regulating blood flow throughout the body.
- Walking, swimming, cycling, aqua aerobics, and yoga are the popular exercises suitable for pregnant women.
- Other forms of exercise activities include; weight lifting, which is good as long as it becomes too strenuous.
- Heath experts recommend exercising 3-4 times a week.
Benefits of Exercises during Pregnancy
Listed below are some of the top reasons and benefits for exercising during pregnancy.
- Exercise decreases the length of the labor and helps in reducing the recovery time as well. Proper exercise routine helps in increasing stamina needed for the delivery.
- Exercise or yoga improves emotional health that in turn makes it easier for the new mother to get through the experience of pregnancy
- It also helps in weight management after the birth of the child, which is a common concern among the mothers.
- It helps in reducing the side effects of pregnancy including the common symptoms like headaches, fatigue, swelling, and constipation.
- It has been estimated that doing exercises during pregnancy help in decreasing the risk of premature birth by about 50%.
One needs to make sure to drink plenty of water /fluids before exercising, take a nutritious diet and avoid exertion.
Benefits of exercises after Pregnancy
Not only during pregnancy, but regular exercise after pregnancy is also equally important due to the following reasons:
- Promote weight loss to a large extent.
- Improve the cardiovascular fitness.
- Helps in restoring muscle tone and strength.
- Boosts the level of energy.
- Helps in relieving stress and anxiety.
Exercise and Pregnancy: Result of Over Exercising
Women should clearly understand that they need of exercising in order to cope up the stress of pregnancy and the impending delivery process. Hence, moderate physical exercise is needed in pregnancy not really to stay in shape, but instead to adapt the changes and demands of the gestation period. But too much of anything is bad. Excessive physical activities can cause:
- Excessive vaginal bleeding
- Amniotic fluid leakage
- Breathlessness with exertion
- Severe Chest Pain
- Regular painful contractions
- Muscle weakness affects balance and calf pain or swelling
- Women who are bearing twins or triplets with the risk of premature labor should refrain from heavy exercising.
- The moms-to-be who have been diagnosed with placenta Previa, after 26 weeks of gestation should avoid any kind of strenuous physical activity.
However witnessing the positive effects of all forms of light exercise, women are medically suggested to do healthy exercise regularly by the doctors. Under the proper guidance of the obstetricians and gynaecologists, it is estimated that doing exercises during pregnancy are highly beneficial in the overall and holistic development of the mother and the child.