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Can I Exercise While Pregnant? 9 Things to Know

by Ida Harris
Everything You Should Know About Exercising While Being Pregnant

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Regular exercise while pregnant can do wonders for both your health and your baby’s health.

Exercise is proven to be not only good for your physical health by correcting your posture and relieving back pains, etc. but also for your mental health by helping you reduce your stress level.

 In this article, we are going to discover 9 things about exercising that expectant moms should know.

1. Start as soon as you can

Being pregnant means different things for different women.

While for some, it motivates them to change their lifestyle for the better, for others, it acts as an excuse to gradually give up the good habit of regularly exercising that they have struggled to maintain.  

If you consistently exercised before being pregnant, try to maintain the good routine. Likewise, if you have not, it is never too late to start.

Women who regularly exercise while pregnant suffer from less discomfort than those who do not. It has also been concluded by numerous reports that babies can derive as many of the same benefits from exercising as mums! These benefits can include:

  • Greater ability to tolerate stress
  • Lower possibility of suffering from obesity
  • Advanced neurobehavioral maturity
  • Better neurodevelopment

Moreover, expectant moms who exercise while pregnant gain less weight and can lose postnatal weight more easily than those who do not.

2. Exercising While Pregnant Do's and Dont's

Dos :

  • Exercise lightly: High-intensity exercise can make your pelvic floor, which carries an increasing amount of weight, become weaker. Therefore, low-intensity exercise is highly recommended.
  • Drink enough water: Water will provide oxygen to your muscles and help your cooling system function properly.
  • Eat well: Have a light meal 30 minutes before working out.
stretching

Adjust your exercise routine to your body

Don'ts :

  • Do not lie supine: Avoid lying totally upwards, especially after 16 weeks. The reason is that throughout your pregnancy, the baby’s weight increases, putting a certain pressure on the primary blood pressure.
  • Do not move too quickly: This can make the baby hit.
  • Do not practice scuba diving or altitude training: This will put the baby at a risk.

3. You can strengthen your midsection by numerous exercises.

The changes in the tummy are the most noticeable in a pregnant woman. Most women do not want to see this area change so much and keep it toned. Fortunately enough, many exercises have been designed to help expectant moms safely strengthen this area.

However, a bad news for pregnant women is that they can easily suffer from stomach muscles separation (diastasis recti). Some of the most common exercises which can help prevent this condition include yoga exercises like cat pose, pilates ‘baby plank’ or a deadlift with a barbell.

4. ‘Fankles’ are a common condition that 3 out of 4 pregnant women suffer from

3 out of 4 expectant mothers are inflicted with fat ankles, also known as the fankles. This condition happens when body fluids grows and moves to the lower legs and feet.

Exercise can address this issue by circulating blood and pressure more effectively. You can practice exercises that raise the legs such as numerous yoga and Pilates exercises. You should also consume a sufficient amount of water as a complementary to the exercise. And the desirable outcome you can get are a pair of attractive legs.

5. Exercising can help reduce labor pain while being pregnant

Numerous researches have proven that healthier people have a tendency to tolerate pains more easily, so if you exercise while being pregnant, you can enhance your pain tolerance ability. But each kind of exercise has a different level of usefulness in this aspect.

As revealed by Research published by the University of Heidelberg, endurance athletes have the highest ability to tolerate pains and then people who play sports and then finally, people who do not work out at all.

6. Do not worry about the weight gain. It is natural for pregnant women.

notepad

It is necessary that expectant moms put on a little weight so that both the mother and the baby are healthy. Overall, an underweight women should put on 28-40lbs; average weight one 25-35Ibs; and overweight one 15-25Ibs.

Maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise so that you your fat can be controlled. Part of your gained weight will be transformed to the muscle building. In the latter phases, your legs can also get additional resistance training as they have to carry the baby’s weight every day.

7. Most women find the first trimester the hardest time to maintain regular exercising

Throughout the first trimester, most women are often frightened of exercising since they have a tendency to suffer from discomfort and anxiety. Women can experience some symptoms like :

  • Tiredness as many nutrients are consumed by your babies.
  • Constipation due to the slow procession of the food as it is required to nourish the placenta.
  • Unexpected mood swings due to the alterations in hormone levels.
  • Insomnia due to nervousness and irritation.

Fortunately enough, there are various exercises which can help you reduce or even eliminate these symptoms. Depending on the size of the baby, you can choose the most suitable level of exercise for yourself. If done regularly, even the gentlest one can be of great use. Additionally, it has been proven that working out in the first trimester helps create more blood vessels, enhancing the nutrients exchange from mother to baby.

8. In the second trimester, you may need to adjust your routine

pregnant exercise

The growing baby makes you heavier, which makes you less steady and nimble. The hormone relaxin, which makes the joints loosen to make room for the baby, start to be produced. As a consequence, you are more vulnerable to injuries. So, you need to consider a change in the exercise routine, reduce the high-intensity exercise to make sure that both of you and your baby are well protected.

9. In the third trimester, you may need to adjust your routine another time

During the last trimester, the diaphragm limits your lung functioning so you can become breathless more easily. Therefore, a reduction in high-intensity workout and an increase in stretching and strengthening exercise may be necessary.

A Swiss ball of right size and tension which is fully inflated may be greatly useful. Sitting on such ball can help you a lot, but remember to keep your torso lifted and your back straight.

If you're in the market for a swish ball, check out this one that's highly recommended by Amazon!

But to maintain an upright position in a long time, you need to have strong legs. Squat is the best exercise which pregnant women can do to have strong legs. Squat up and down, squat with the exercise ball between the wall and you, maintaining the squat position for several seconds while holding a weight are several squat varieties that expectant mothers can do to develop strong legs.

Above is a list of the things that pregnant women should know so that both of the mum and the baby can be healthy. Hope that this list will help you have a pleasant experience throughout pregnancy as well as when giving a baby.

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