Staying fit is important for the wellness of one’s body, especially for pregnant women. Surprising as it may seem, pregnancy is a good go signal to hit up the gym or to enroll in classes. While common notion is that expecting mothers should limit themselves from physical activities, most pregnant women is advised to have a moderate routine of exercise or workout.
Cardio exercises during pregnancy are the recommended activities of most physicians. Movement exercises are known to decrease body pains, most especially in the lower back. Since the body, mostly the legs, are the main parts doing the work, swelling in legs and feet are lessened. Other payoffs of staying fit include better sleeping patterns, reduced mood swings, and improved blood circulation. What most women find encouraging in taking gym sessions or yoga lessons is that they increase stamina levels, strengthen and tone the muscles, and encourages proper breathing patterns. Eventually, they will find it easier during labor as it reduces the labor time, helps one have better control of their muscles, also, provide them with boosts of energy all throughout the process. And most probably, it’s going to be faster for them to lose weight after delivery.
Before putting on the activewear and enrolling in classes, mothers-to-be should always consult with their physicians. If the doctors have no objections, they can ask a list of recommended exercises and activities. Likewise, they can request for individualized or personal program crafted by them. After getting the physician’s permission, women should go to health and fitness centers and register under trainers or experts with experience or certification with pregnancy exercise. With a guide throughout the program, their activities will be adjusted to their needs and circumstances.
Some reminders that one shouldn’t forget are as follows:
- Always be hydrated.
- Do proper warm-up before the activity.
- Be attentive of the heart rate.
- Stop as soon as signs of swelling, nausea, and headache are seen and felt.
- Take a break every fifteen minutes or so.
- Do not exercise every day to avoid over fatigue.
The body changes all-throughout the 9 months, which is why there are specific sets of exercises per trimester of gestation.
For the first trimester, swimming, jogging or walking are the ideal forms of exercise. Many expecting mothers fear that any active movement might harm the baby, so it’s better to start with low intensities and gradually increasing them. Swimming keeps the body toned, while it raises the heart rate. Because of the water’s density, there’s no chance for them to fall flat on their stomach. Walking or jogging is also a simple cardio exercise that won’t put too much strain on the body. Just remember to put on the right shoes and take extra caution where one’s passing. These two exercises can be done all throughout the pregnancy period.
Having a stationary bike for one’s disposal is also favourable. Rather than going outdoors to bike, one can exercise without being exposed to too much heat or to other dangerous obstacles. Plus, with this equipment, there will be less stress exerted on the body as it acts as a support for one’s weight. Additionally, weight lifting is relatively doable because mothers can still carry much weight with less risks of injury because of the joints near the muscles are strengthened.
During the second trimester, the baby bump becomes bigger and more evident; thus making it more difficult to do a lot of bending and jumping. In this stage, many future mothers attend yoga and aerobics classes. There are centers that have special programs for pregnant women, making all the positions, the steps, and the pace, easy for them to follow as they reap benefits from them. Many don’t feel the strengthening of their muscles doing yoga because of the gentle, relaxed, and peaceful manner instructors conduct their sessions. Likewise, this approach can be carried over during labor, wherein the mother can be calm and not frantic. For both activities, they should avoid standing for a long period and staying in a lying position. If not, oxygen circulation and blood flow will be harder for the baby.
The last three months of pregnancy are crucial. In one wrong or sensitive move, one’s water might break or it can cause an unavoidable fall. For this reason, lightweight cardio exercises such as water aerobics, yoga, and walking, are the most advisable things to do. Water aerobics is the favorite of many future moms, since it won’t worry them of falling, neither will they feel extremely hot in the pool.
Though exercising have numerous known advantages, women should not risk their welfare and the baby’s condition just for those. If there are signs or difficulties, it simply means stop. If one’s feeling dizzy, finding it difficult to breathe, or sees the calf swelling, she should no longer push herself to do more.
Overall, cardio activities are rewarding during and after pregnancy. It can help women cope with their physical and emotional changes as they wait for the arrival of their child. However, one should always keep in mind their limitations for the sake of her baby and her own health.