Fitness for Pregnant Women: How to Exercise During Pregnancy
Exercise is beneficial during pregnancy but unfortunately fitness for pregnant women often takes a back seat. Exercise is good not only for you but also for the baby.
Pregnancy can leave you exhausted and morning sickness often interferes with exercise routines. However, continuing to exercise will often help reduce common symptoms of pregnancy and leave you feeling more energized.
Benefits of Fitness Exercise for Pregnant Women
Exercise brings many benefits for pregnant women, including:
- Fewer pregnancy complaints such as backache and constipation
- Easier labor
- Faster recovery from childbirth
- Less likely to gain extra weight during pregnancy
- Healthier, leaner and calmer baby
Warning Signs During Pregnancy Exercise
Always get your doctor’s go-ahead before starting a fitness regimen for pregnant women. Stop exercising immediately if you experience any of the following: dizziness, feeling faint, headaches, and shortness of breath, uterine contractions, heart palpitations, vaginal bleeding, or fluid leaking.
Fitness Exercises for Pregnant Women
Exercises for pregnant women can help you maintain or improve your fitness level. Even if you have been a couch potato, you can safely start a fitness regimen during pregnancy. Below are some exercises that are recommended for pregnant women.
Kegel exercises are done by contracting the muscles of the pelvic floor. Imagine trying to stop the flow when you pee. That is the muscle contraction you are aiming for. Hold the contraction for a count of four.
You can do Kegel exercises anywhere — while watching TV, sitting at your computer, etc. Strong pelvic floor muscles may make labor easier and shorter.
The pelvic tilt strengthens the abdominal muscles and reduces back pain during pregnancy and labor. To perform the pelvic tilt exercise for pregnant women, get down on your hands and knees.
Keep your arms shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. Do not lock your elbows. Inhale and tighten your abdominal muscles while tucking your buttocks under and around your back. Exhale and relax your back to a neutral position. Repeat.
Walking is one of the best forms of fitness exercise for pregnant women. This low-impact cardiovascular exercise is a safe activity throughout your pregnancy. It’s an easy way to start exercising if you have been inactive before.
It is safe to do moderate exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week. Just make sure you have your doctor’s go-ahead.
Low Impact Aerobics During Pregnancy
Aerobic exercise is important for women’s fitness during pregnancy. Cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs. It also maintains the muscle tone. Pregnant women should avoid high impact exercise, but low-impact aerobics is fine.
Your exercise movements may have to be modified. Keeping at least one foot on the ground all the time will help minimize stress on the joints.
You may want to consider joining an aerobics fitness class for pregnant women. You’ll enjoy working out with other pregnant women. The aerobics instructor will also know how to keep you and the baby safe while you exercise.
Yoga is an ideal way for pregnant women to keep fit, especially when paired with some form of cardio exercise such as walking. Yoga stretches and tones your muscles, making you more flexible. It improves your balance and enhances the circulation.
Yoga is a low-impact exercise that helps you relax and control your breathing. This is very useful when it’s time for you to give birth.
Physical fitness for pregnant women is vital as it helps you meet the demands of childbirth and motherhood more easily. Exercise and good nutrition will ensure the health of the mother and baby.