As we all know, and have been incessantly informed before, exercise is beneficial to your health, and to your lifestyle practices. As many of us may suspect, exercising while pregnant is beneficial and pertinent to the health of the baby and the recovery of the mother. Physical activity while pregnant goes beyond the mentality of keeping that bod looking A+ after nine months — improvements in sleeping, mood, and pain relief are among the many side-affects that exercising can combat during pregnancy. Moms-to-be may find this concept difficult to put into action, especially during the first trimester and the last month of their pregnancy, due to exhaustion, swelling, discomfort and nausea. Also, who has the time? Between regular life, doctor’s appointments, a job, and other grown up activities, thinking about the word “exercise” can be daunting and outright, heinous.
Nevertheless, the word “exercise” must be prioritized. It doesn’t have to take an hour, you don’t have to go to the gym — 30 minutes of brisk movement is all it takes.
Pregnant women who work out lower their risks of diabetes, high blood pressure, and weight gain, while also reducing aches, producing more energy, and have a faster recovery. Additionally, children whose mother works out during pregnancy have a lower rate of obesity and diabetes.
Want to work out but not sure how? Always remember to check with a healthcare provider first, wear the right clothes, remember to take in extra calories, drink water, and warm up.
Here are a few easy ways to do a total body workout.
1. Cardio Workouts
Three to five times a week, participate in a cardio exercise that increases your heart rate for 10 or 15 minutes. Low impact sports are important during pregnancy since many are considered to be too aggressive and not recommended. Swimming uses large muscle groups and improves circulation.
It is important for you, and your baby, to process and use oxygen — swimming is excellent for this. Walking is another popular exercise for pregnant women. It keeps your heart strong, is easy to fit into a busy schedule, gets you out into the sunshine, and reduces postpartum depression.
2. Strength Workouts
For 30 minutes, two to four times a week, perform a strength workout. Bands, dumbbells, or body weight are all recommended for a strength workout. In order to avoid overworking your joints, use lighter weights, no more than five to 12 pounds, with more repetitions.
Lifting weights during your pregnancy has many benefits: shorter labor, fewer complications, lower risk of pre-term birth and lower rates of pain during labor, have all been linked to strength exercises.
3. Prenatal Yoga
Prenatal yoga is arguably the best workout that a mother can practice before giving birth. Balance, stamina, strength, pain relief, breath work practice, and nurturing are all health benefits that can be noticeably improved while an expectant mother.
In a 2012 study, “pregnant women who practiced yoga for one hour, three times a week, were less likely to have low birth weight babies, pregnancy-related diabetes, and high blood pressure.” Extended side angle pose, sitting side stretch, cat pose, and child’s pose, are recommended moves in yoga.
Even if you aren’t interested in yoga, always remember to stretch after every workout, and focus on your chest, lower back, and thigh muscles.
4. Office Workouts
If you’re at the office, squats are your best friend (even if you aren’t pregnant!) while wall push-ups and pelvic tilts, are also recommended workouts for the ladies who are punching the clock. Squats strength your glute muscles and help decrease lower back and pelvic pain — they are pretty essential to do while pregnant.
After nine months of pregnancy, the pressure and stress on your pelvis, hips, and bladder can be relieved with pelvic tilts. After four months of pregnancy, pelvic tilts should be done in standing position with your back against the wall.
Only 23% of pregnant women participate in physical activities. Three out of four women in the US are not getting enough exercise while pregnant. Keep in mind that the exercise isn’t solely for your health and safety but also for the well-being of the life inside of you.