6 Exercises That You Should Include In Your Routine If You Are Pregnant.
How enticing it is to see those two little lines on the kit, confirming your pregnancy I know your heart might have surely skipped a beat. It is immensely exhilarating to know that, from now on you will not be alone; there will be a tiny you growing inside and you will have to meticulously take care of the baby as well as yourself. The moment this news spreads like wildfire you will be showered with abundant advice pouring in from hither and thither about getting less involved in physical activity and taking ample rest. On the contrary your body does need exercises to maintain a healthy balance of mind, body and soul. As you embark this journey there will be a lot of physiological and psychological changes that you might go through, since the pregnancy journey every woman trods on is distinctive, everyone’s struggles being different and unimaginable. But what revitalizes you is a healthy mind with apposite exercises, some meditation and yoga to calm your senses and keep your mind optimistic. Exercising on a regular basis under the supervision of an antenatal fitness expert can help you stay fit throughout your pregnancy and also builds an aura of sanguine energies around you to keep you calm and composed in this tumbling excursion of developing a life inside you.
The initial stages of pregnancy may include some symptoms like nausea, backache, pelvis pain, calf pain, mood swings, sleep disturbances, gestational related illnesses etc. Routine exercises will help obliterate some of these symptoms, preventing gestational related illnesses like gestational diabetes etc. to prepare your body for a healthy natural delivery. You should add the following exercises in your routine:
▪ Kegel’s exercise: Doing at least five sets of this exercise twice a day in accordance with the guidance of your fitness expert will help you strengthen the pelvic floor musculature. It will assist you in keeping your lower abdomen organs such as the small intestine, bladder, and rectum in control. It strengthens the pelvic floor muscles so that they are strong enough to hold the baby inside when he gains some extra pounds and also prevents your lower organs from sagging. If you feel urine leaking while sneezing, coughing or you feel the urgency to pee intermittently, this exercise will help keep your bladder in control.
▪ Bridging exercise: This exercise helps in strengthening back and hip muscles. As the baby gains weight, all of it is balanced by the mother’s back and a lot of tension is felt in the muscles, so it is of utmost importance to exercise and relieve your back muscles.
▪ Butterfly- Stretches the thighs and stimulates the reproductive and digestive organs. This exercise helps in stretching up the groin area and hips so as to perform standard delivery with ease. It also aids in alleviating the muscle tightness and tension. In addition to this it helps in treating digestive problems such as heart burns and gastric problems during pregnancy. Since this exercise does not involve high intensity workout, it is considered mild without much grueling of the body which turns out to be healthy for the mother.
▪ Cat and cow stretches- Strengthens the core muscles. Cat and cow exercises help in mitigating the stiffness of the back. It also helps in strengthening the lower abdomen and hips muscles that will enhance natural birth and assist in allowing the baby to adjust itself to suitable positions. It also helps to fortify shoulder muscles and pelvic floor muscles.
▪ Mini squats- thigh and butts strengthening. Mini squats become tough in later stages of pregnancy but doing them with proper company will help you strengthen the thigh muscles (lower and upper), relaxes the groin and helps in tightening of butt muscles and flexes the hips. It also assists in controlling the bowel movements and will also help you in coping with contractions during labor because regular exercising will maintain the muscles elasticity.
▪ Breathing Exercises: In some critically complex cases of pregnancy, some women may be advised by their doctor to avoid physical exercises as it rigorously affects their baby’s health, but they need to keep their mind and body calm so breathing exercises come in as boosters and mood busters as well. Here you just have to take deep breaths and release them through your nose, (don’t release it through your mouth as you will lose more energy). It should be done for at least 15 minutes thrice a day. This will help in deep oxygenation as ample amounts of oxygen will reach your brain and also your baby, aiding to maintain appropriate blood pressure and cardiovascular activities of your heart. It also soothes the mind and you may feel lighter and relieve the stress during pregnancy.
These exercises should only be practiced on advice of your doctor because your doctor knows the actual health of your baby and how knotty your condition is. Also learn them from an antenatal expert because she knows the right posture and timings these exercises should be done for. A wrong posture or an unsteady bend can turn out to be lethal for you and your baby’s health. Also you should involve befitting exercises in different stages of pregnancy as the right choice will help your body relax and prepare you for a healthy birth.
Brisk walking in your third trimester is an aerobic exercise that can be done if there is no medical complication, although walking helps you burn calories and successively improves, eating habits and hefts up your hunger since you have to eat for the two of you now and you require double the quantity of nutrients for healthy growth of your bodies especially your baby’s.
Pregnancy feels enervating and tiring, you may feel like relaxing all day long but physical activity is a significant part of the whole journey to keep yourself fit to deliver a healthy baby. It is important for you and your baby’s activities inside your womb, the more you exercise the more your baby will explore movements, twist and turn, give you a sense of thrill and develop into a svelte baby. Some of the benefits of exercising are –
● shortens the labor process,
● increases the chances of natural birth, lower chance of C-section or premature birth
● decreases the need for pain relief or artificial interventions,
● speeds up the recovery after delivery,
● decreases the chances of preterm births and helps to prevent gestational related illnesses like diabetes, thyroid etc. It is important to keep breathing during all the exercises so that oxygen supply is proper to the fetus as well as the other body parts.
● Contributes healthy weight gain
● Decreases stress and anxiety
● Helps you with good sleep
● Prohibits constipation
● You will feel like a hot mama instead of a beached whale
● You will be less prone to morning sickness and feel rejuvenated
So take physical activities seriously and don’t be slouchy as it’s all about you and your baby.
– Dr. Priyanka khanna (PT)