Exercising comes with a whole host of benefits for anyone, young or old. It is also good for pregnant women as it helps tackle postpartum depression, gestational diabetes and also makes sure your blood pressure remains at the right levels. Apart from that, all the aches and pains that are part and parcel of pregnancy can be relieved by exercising regularly.
Here’s a list of exercises that are perfectly safe for pregnant women:
- Yoga – Being gentle and not too strenuous, yoga exercises have no ill-effects on pregnant women’s health. A study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology journal found that Yoga is safe for pregnant women. Yoga helps boost flexibility so that you do not suffer from frequent injuries. It will also help tone your body and provide mental clarity and improved concentration which a pregnant woman could benefit from. However, certain poses that require you to put your head upside down or lift your body weight on your hands are definitely not wise to do when pregnant. It’s advisable to perform Yoga under a trained Yoga expert during pregnancy.
- Planks – Planks are perfectly fine for pregnant women too as they help tone your upper body along with your legs and this comes in handy when delivering the baby. To do planks, you need to place your elbows below your shoulders on the floor, and try to keep your body up in a straight position. You can also try moving onto your hands and staying in a push up position. Always make sure your spine is straight so that your tummy doesn’t start to sag.
- Body Weight Workouts – Doing pushups, raises, curls, squats and other basic body weight training exercises are not hazardous at all. In fact, they are good for pregnant women as these exercises make it easier for women to lose their pregnancy weight later. However, if you are trying weights, it would be best to stick to 20 lbs or less as you may injure yourself if you are just starting this routine. Despite the many benefits that exercise carries for pregnant women and the negative effects that a sedentary lifestyle can have on mothers to-be and their unborn babies, there are some exercises that expecting mothers should steer clear of. Here is a list of exercises that pregnant women should certainly avoid:
- Supine Exercises – By the time you reach the second and third trimester, you won’t be sleeping on your stomach any longer. However, lying on your back should also be stopped as the weight from your stomach may compress certain organs or prevent the blood from flowing to you or your baby. Hence, avoiding exercises that require you to lie on your back would be advisable. Instead, choose sitting and standing exercises as these will give you a good workout without overdoing it.
- Bouncing Activities – At the time of pregnancy, your joints tend to get loose. So bouncing or trying other jarring activities carry a high possibility of injury. Thus, it is best to avoid activities like kick-boxing, skipping, Zumba and aerobics.
- Contact Sports – Any kind of rough sport should be avoided the moment you pass your first trimester. The likelihood of getting hit in your belly or back is very high and this can spell disaster for you and your baby. So avoid playing games like basketball, soccer, and football when pregnant.
- Keeping these instructions in mind, exercising will certainly provide you with numerous benefits that will help you stay fit and healthy during and post pregnancy.