Exercising during pregnancy can be a tricky business. With so many dos and don’ts available on the net, it’s hard to decipher what’s safe and what’s not. Therefore, we have come up with a list of 6 exercises that are a big no-no and should never be done. Undoubtedly, exercising has lots of proven benefits during pregnancy like reducing stress/anxiety, increasing your capability to cope up with labor, increasing blood circulation, promoting better sleep, help reduce backaches, reducing the risk of gestational diabetes, managing digestive problems etc. So, don’t refrain from it completely.
1 High Impact and Contact Sports:
High Impact sports and contact sports include kick boxing, basketball, football etc. can risk getting hit or knocked down in the stomach or increase risks of falling down. Any exercise that involves a lot of speed should also be avoided. You also should not practice sports such as skiing, horse riding as they require a lot of balance and also involves the risk of falling down.
2 Exercising in Excessive Heat:
Exercising under hotter temperatures is not safe to do during pregnancy. It can put a lot of pressure on your cardiovascular system, which is already responsible for circulating 50% extra blood than in a normal woman’s body. Clearly, your heart is under a lot of pressure and therefore, it’s best that you don’t do anything to exert it even more. If you have to exercise in summers, choose a time in the morning or evening to work out. Find a gym that is air conditioned. And try to hydrate as much as possible in between.
3 Sit-Ups/Double Leg Lifts:
They put a lot of pressure on your abdomen. Abdominal exercises are very difficult to do due to muscle weakness and separation of muscles along the abdomen called as diastasis recti. These exercises also involve a lot of twisting and bending along the abdomen. You can try prenatal yoga classes if you want to do abdominal exercises that are safe and can actually help with pain around pelvis and back. They give safe exercises to follow during pregnancy.
4 Lying On Back Exercises:
Lying on Back should always be avoided in pregnancy even if it’s for a few minutes. Lying on back puts pressure on a blood vessel called Vena Cava. Vena Cava is responsible for transporting the blood from lower part of your body to the upper part of the body and vice versa. It hinders the blood circulation and hence, decreases the amount of blood and oxygen that reaches the fetus. Therefore, it’s also advised that you don’t sleep on your back during pregnancy.
5 Heavy Weight Training Lifts:
Any heavy weight lifting involves putting pressure on maximal isometric muscle contractions and thus, puts a lot of stress on your musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems. Also, hormones relaxin and progesterone play a huge role in stretching out all the muscles in your body especially in the third trimester, so it’s best that you don’t play with them just to remain safe. It also puts a lot of stress on tendons, ligaments, and bones of your body and can make it harder to breathe. If you do want to practice strength training, it’s best that you use around 2-5 pounds of weight and not more.
6 Deep Squatting/Lunging:
Squats/Lunges are generally safe to do and are one of the most common exercises done by pregnant women. But, deep squats and lunges can cause excessive pressure on pelvic muscles. Your pelvic muscles are already under a lot of strain due to excessive relaxation and stretching of the muscles due to a hormone called progesterone. They smoothen out to accommodate the growing baby. The downside to it also includes lower back pain, pelvic pain, and leg pain.