Pregnant Women Can Stay Fit, Too
Like any individual who wants to keep fit and healthy, pregnant women need to exercise. There’s a dearth of online posts when it comes to this topic, so we decided to put together the best exercises pregnant women can safely perform while enjoying one of the most exciting phases of their lives—their pregnancies.
The Best Exercises for Pregnant Women
Before exercise, expectant mothers must consult their physician.
Yes, walking tops the list. Walking exercises the whole body, most especially the buttocks, thighs, and legs. During the birthing process, these are the muscles that are needed most.
If you’re new to exercise or unstable for any reason, the walking area must be flat and not ascending or descending. There are reported cases of increased risk of miscarriages because of scaling exercises and similar activities.
Walking in the early morning is preferred. The morning sun is beneficial for the pregnant mother. Brisk walking is best when there are no apparent pregnancy complications.
#2 Light Weightlifting
This is intended to hone the muscles of the shoulders and biceps. Take note to sit on a comfortable chair, and not lift the weight while standing up. Heavy weightlifting can lead to complications in pregnancy.
Sit on a chair with back straight and the soles of the feet firmly planted on the floor. The distance of the feet should be the same as your shoulder width so the arms holding the weights can be lowered down on both sides.
The arms are brought to a 90 degree angle above the thighs, then lifted to shoulder level. This can be done simultaneously, or one after the other. Repeat the motion 15 to 20 times.
Swimming is a superb exercise for joints and muscles. It also reduces inflammation.
Pregnant women can sometimes have trouble standing up or walking due to joint pains. Swimming can help ease these pains by increasing joint flexibility.
The buoyancy of the body makes exercising easy, too. The breaststroke and butterfly are the most commonly performed styles.
However, the water temperature must be warm enough to prevent exposing the mother and the baby to extremely cold temperatures.
#4 Tai Chi
Performing Ta Chi, a slow meditation exercise, will help both mother and baby in de-stressing. The slow, balancing movements increase muscle strength and flexibility.
Tai Chi allows easy movements. This is good, considering the mother’s baby bump. While doing the exercises, the mother can simultaneously meditate and clear her mind of distressful thoughts to regain her emotional balance and well-being.
How to Perform Some Simple Tai Chi
- Stand straight with your arms on your sides.
- Spread your feet wider than the width of your hips.
- Rotate your waist to the right, allowing the rest of your body and arms to swing with your movement.
- Return to your original position.
- Rotate your waist to the left, allowing the rest of your body and arms to swing with your movement.
- Practice this movement for a few minutes.
- Now, close your eyes and feel the air and warmth around you. Breathe in and out slowly, relishing the sensations in your body. Focus your mind on positive thoughts, and ignore the negative ones. You can do this by appreciating the freshness of the air around you, and how good it is to be alive.
- Let your arms help you maintain your balance. You may stretch them forward or sideward.
- You can move one foot forward, too, to change positions.
- Perform this until you can feel your muscles and body relax.
#5 Stationary Biking
The height of the bike must be adjusted so that you are seated comfortably. Your back should not be awkwardly bent. Your feet must be resting firmly on the pedals, and the baby bump is not compressed or constricted.
This exercise is done indoors; yet, you should wear the appropriate exercise gear (proper shoes and clothes).
This exercise will strengthen the legs and feet. Ten to twenty cycles daily should be performed. The exercise should not be done in excess because the muscle fatigue might stress the baby and the mother.
Contraindications of Exercise in Pregnant Women
Exercising is not for every expectant mother. There are certain contraindications that mothers should be aware of. These are:
- Placenta previa—the tendency of bleeding while active does exist. If you see spotting, consult your doctor immediately.
- Threatened abortion/recurrent miscarriage—the fetus fails to develop, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy.
- Ruptured membranes—the tissue of the uterus is extra-sensitive.
- Uterine abnormalities—there are existing defects in the mother’s uterus, cervix, or placenta.
- Ectopic pregnancy—the fetus lodges outside the uterus.
Your doctor is the best person to help you decide what level of activity is appropriate for your unique pregnancy.
It is crucial for pregnant women to exercise to stay healthy during this exciting stage of their lives. Exercises for pregnant women should be given importance on a health and fitness website, too; after all, they need to exercise to stay fit and healthy, as well. As such, we hope these five simple exercises will help you on your path to a healthy pregancy.