Many women think that being pregnant means saying goodbye to their old schedules including working and exercising. While it is important to go easy on the various physical activities during pregnancy, one must not use pregnancy as an excuse to stop exercising altogether.
If you maintain a fit and healthy body during pregnancy you will have an easy and labor at the end of nine months. Women who do not give up exercising during pregnancy also find it easier to come back to shape post-pregnancy.
Exercising Tips For Pregnancy
You must be very careful when you perform exercises during pregnancy. Take the green signal from your doctor before you begin exercising. If your doctor feels that you have chances of miscarrying then he/she will put you on complete bed rest in which case you will have to refrain from physical activities of all kinds. Hence it is important to take the advice of your doctor before starting any exercising program during pregnancy.
During pregnancy your aim should be to remain fit and healthy by exercising. Exercising should not be used to lose weight during pregnancy. So don’t exert yourself too much; any sign of fatigue showed be seen as a signal by the body asking you to stop. Over-doing is only going to make you sick and also put your baby at risk. Go easy on the weight training exercises. Do not use heavy weights for exercising. The weight of your growing tummy is enough as it is. Any more weight is going to put unnecessary pressure on your muscles.
Tips On How To Remain Fit And Healthy During Pregnancy
1. Do not give up on your daily chores. Perform all the light physical activities that you were performing before pregnancy. Do your own cooking, washing, cleaning and shopping for groceries. If you work then continue with the various office chores. However, all these activities should not be overdone. Stop when you feel tired or fatigued. Continue with the work when you feel better.
2. If you haven’t been exercising before then pregnancy is the best time to begin. To keep you motivated join pre-natal yoga classes. Your body will get the much needed exercise and you will also make friends with many moms-to-be in your class. Besides, yoga will also teach you breathing exercises which will come handy during labor.
3. Walk for 20 minutes every day if you cannot find the time to squeeze in some exercise. Begin with 10 minutes walk and then slowly increase the duration of your walks. In your second semester you are allowed to walk for 80 minutes every day. These 80 minutes should be divided through the day. Towards the end of the pregnancy increase the duration of walking by 10 minutes. This is also the time you should begin exercises like squatting and deep breathing to help you deal with labor better.
4. Do not take the advice ‘eat for two’ literally. This doesn’t mean that you should be eating the quantity of food for two people. You don’t have to overeat to provide nutrition to the growing fetus. Instead eat healthy and nutritious food. Eat more of proteins so that you don’t indulge in unhealthy snacking. These are simply going to add pounds to your body without providing you with any nutrition.
5. Eat six small and healthy meals during the day. Eating three large meals could lead to problems of bloating and acid reflux during pregnancy. Your meals should consist of well-balanced diet of vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and fiber. Avoid too much intake of calorie to prevent piling on weight. However, we do not recommend that you completely forego fatty foods like butter and cheese.
6. Drink 12 glasses of water each day to help the digestive system process food better. Drinking sufficient quantity of water will help prevent constipation. It will also help avoid the problem of water retention that causes swollen hands and feet. The problem is commonly seen in pregnant women.
7. Join a gym during your second trimester if you feel you are unable to take time out from your schedule for exercising. The trainer in the gym will help you perform pregnancy-related exercises. Along with exercising you could also indulge in cardios like cycling, walking on the treadmill and using the elliptical trainer.
However, don’t forget the rule; quit when you become tired. DO NOT perform exercises like abdominal crunches without supervision. You might harm the fetus. Check with your trainer about the safer versions of crunches that you could do to strengthen your abdominal muscles.
8. Swimming is another great exercising for remaining fit throughout pregnancy. It is a low impact cardio-vascular exercise and can be done easily for a longer stretch of time.
9. Pilates has also become very popular among pregnant women. This form of exercising is very helpful in re-gaining pre-pregnancy shape very soon after delivery. Pilates keeps the muscles toned and strong to make labor easier. However, Pilates’ classes can be an expensive affair for some so you could also buy DVDs or download Pilates’ exercise forms from the internet.
10. Take information from your doctor, pregnancy related books and articles on how to have a healthy pregnancy. Your doctor will also be able to advice you on your dietary and lifestyle habits that might require healthy changes.
If you wish to have an easy labor and a healthy baby it is important not to lead a sedentary life during pregnancy. You must ensure that you get 20-30 minutes of exercise daily; the exercise can be in any form. You could also join dance classes if the traditional way of exercising doesn’t appeal to you.
By exercising during pregnancy you will also be choosing a healthier life for your child; a study showed that women who did not exercise often had children who became obese later in their lives. Exercising and eating the right nutrition during pregnancy also reduces the chances of gestational diabetes. Besides, exercising and healthy eating will have you in your pre-pregnancy clothes in a matter of few months. This should be motivation enough for majority of women to have a healthy pregnancy.