General exercises during pregnancy
Pregnancy and exercising go hand in hand, whether you were a fitness enthusiast before the pregnancy or you are just beginning exercising during this time. Pregnancy is usually a time for less motivation due to the ever present nausea, indigestion problems and general fatigue, and exercise may seem a drag. Exercising during pregnancy, not only helps a smooth child birth process, but also helps to recover back to pre-pregnancy weight or normal body weight, quicker.
However, reminding yourself of the benefits of following an exercise routine, may be enough to shift your state, some of which are mentioned below:
Cardio exercises like walking, swimming help boost the cardio vascular health, blood circulation and removal of toxins. Cardio activities also enhance release of endorphins (happy hormones), enkephalins and dopamine which boost mood, confidence levels and emotional state in general.
Light strengthening exercises help counter the postural imbalances due to additional weight, and help prevent problems like lower back aches, stiff necks and more.
Stretching exercises help correct postural imbalances and improve flexibility and range of motion.
Techniques and postures such as in Yoga help improve well-being at many levels – physical, emotional and mental. It also helps stimulate bowel movements, relieve tension around the pelvis and also boost energy levels.
Pilates is also a good option, provided you have some prior experience with the technique or have been performing Kegel exercises over a period of time, since it requires you to know how to stabilize pelvic floor muscles.
Kegel exercises help improve the tone of the pelvic floor muscles which assists during and after child birth.
Some points to keep in mind while exercising
Use low-impact options like walking etc. since pregnancy is associated with increased joint laxity due to the hormone relaxin, and excessive high impact activities may result in injury.
Drink lots of water, to avoid de-hydration. By the time one feels thirsty, dehydration has already set in. Hence it is recommended to drink water at regular intervals, and not wait to feel thirsty.
Pregnancy – When not to exercise
If the doctor has not cleared you for exercise, and has advised against exercising
In the event, you are diagnosed with pre-eclampsia or very high blood pressure
In the event of persistent vaginal bleeding, whether painful or not
In case you have had an earlier premature child birth, and may be prone to having it again
In case you have heart problems, or other conditions that may become critical
In case you had an existing lower back problem, make sure to exercise under the guidance of an expert trainer
Make the exercise routine interesting, and something that you can look forward to. Also listen to your body signals of pain and discomfort.