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It was believed for years that pregnant women must spend the entire gestation period lying down for fear of damaging the fetus and threatening the pregnancy. But over the past few decades, it has been seen that exercise during pregnancy offers many benefits. Other than the overall feeling of well-being, physical fitness prepares your body for childbirth. Care should be taken to undertake an exercise regimen under the guidance of the gynecologist.
Yoga, walking, simple stretching exercises and similar low impact exercises are ideal during pregnancy. Find out post pregnancy exercises that can help you get your body back to shape. If you notice any bleeding or experience cramping, faintness or dizziness, discontinue the exercise and consult your doctor immediately.
Exercise during Pregnancy
Some of the important factors to be looked into while exercising in pregnancy are adequate hydration and proper ventilation. Pregnant women must refrain from any exercise that carries the risk of falls or abdominal trauma. Vigorous activity and contact sports must be avoided during pregnancy. Exercise during pregnancy boosts energy levels and strengthens and tones up muscles. Hormonal changes during pregnancy loosen up the joints and a good exercise regimen can help in preventing their wear and tear.
The release of endorphins during exercise make you feel better and the increased blood flow can give you a healthy glow. A fit mother to be is less likely to gain fat weight during pregnancy. Other exercise related benefits during pregnancy are lower incidence of back pain, reduced edema and fewer leg cramps.
It is essential to check with the doctor before starting any exercise program during pregnancy. Conditions such as hypertension, bleeding and cardiac arrhythmia are contraindications to exercising during pregnancy. Never exercise till you feel uncomfortable, exhausted or short of breath. Your heart rate and breathing must be monitored while exercising during pregnancy since the fetal heart rate is tied to your own. Ensure that you drink plenty of water so as to remain well hydrated.
Even if you have never exercised before, you can embark on a mild and gradual exercise regimen when you are pregnant. Walking is probably the best exercise for pregnant women to tone muscles and get some fresh air. Walking can be continued up to the last trimester as long as you are comfortable. High impact aerobics and jumping movements are not recommended during pregnancy. It can cause significant stress on joints and tendons.
The exercise facility must be well ventilated since pregnant women have higher basal metabolic temperature and can lead to a condition of overheating. Stretching exercises undertaken during pregnancy must be done under correct supervision. Stretches must be performed in a relaxed manner without taking it to maximum point. Slow and stationary movements are preferred as exercise in pregnancy. Strained muscles occur in pregnancy due to the increased flexibility of the joints due to hormonal changes. Performing Kegel exercises regularly can go a long way in strengthening muscles of the pelvic floor.
Yoga Exercise During Pregnancy
The benefits of yoga during pregnancy are many - physical and psychological. Breathing and relaxing exercises help prepare the mind and body for the rigors of labor, birth and motherhood. But it must be noted that certain type of yogic exercises are not recommended during pregnancy. Avoid poses that stretch the muscles too much, particularly the abdominal muscles. Use support when performing standing asanas to prevent injury due to loss of balance. Poses on the back are generally avoided since they may restrict flow of blood to uterus. Yoga can help you appreciate the changes that your body is undergoing. It can build strength and improve mental health.
Exercise Post Pregnancy
Well! The little bundle of joy is in your arms now and you find yourself starved of sleep and time. This is the time when post pregnancy exercises can help you get back to shape quickly. The benefits of postnatal exercise are many. Your body will recover faster from the rigors of childbirth if you embark on a slow exercise regimen. It also helps in reducing stress and depression that manifest itself in the post pregnancy stage. Your body shape will get back to normal faster. Each woman takes her own time in getting ready for some form of exercise after childbirth. It is necessary for the abdominal muscles to heal before they are subject to vigorous workouts, especially after a cesarean section.
Walking, yoga, pilates and low impact aerobics are the recommended exercises in the post pregnancy stage. Kegels exercises work well in the post pregnancy phase too since they can help in strengthening the vaginal canal after the rigors of childbirth. It is essential to consult the doctor before starting any post pregnancy exercise program. Most important of all, you must listen to your body - watch for any signals of tiredness, dizziness or adverse symptoms.