Pregnancy is an exciting period for both the woman and the man involved. It’s a period where their expectations are so high they just want to welcome the new addition to their family.
However, the period of pregnancy is also a very complex time for the woman. Sicknesses, fatigue, stress, mood swings and finally, strength to carry and deliver on the d-day are all issues she has to deal with.
If there’s anything that can help a woman cope with the stress and “wahala” of pregnancy as well as give her a healthy baby, then it’ exercise. Yes, it may sound crazy but exercise helps a lot in the time of pregnancy. It keeps the woman healthy and very energetic.
Even though exercising is good during pregnancy, please consult your Doctor before starting any exercise routine.
Below are some exercises which are great during pregnancy.
Research shows that Yoga may make labour comfortable and quite short. Yoga helps you relax, ease back pain, and strengthens your muscles. However, don’t do extreme Yoga, just focus on moves that help you relax. After your first trimester, avoid lying on your back during Yoga exercises.
Swimming is very good during pregnancy because it helps relieve swollen ankles and it’s very gentle on the joints. Don’t worry about the size of your tummy since you’ll float and feel light like a balloon.
3. Indoor Cycling
This is done using the stationary cycle meant for indoor exercises. Cycling will boost your heart rate without stressing your joints. It helps you burn some calories and allows you to control how much weight you gain during your pregnancy. It also strengthens and tones many of the muscles in your body, which helps you carry the extra weight associated with pregnancy.
4. Brisk Walking
This can be done all the way through the pregnancy depending on the condition of the woman. Walking generally helps tone your muscles, therefore brisk walking will help give you strength in your legs and help you carry the pregnancy without much trouble. You do this exercise by walking around your neighbourhood or by walking on a treadmill at low speed.
Abdominals help in strengthening your core and back during pregnancy. It’s not every abdominal exercise that is good during pregnancy. Two very safe abdominal exercises during pregnancy are the Kneeling Pelvic Tilt and Standing Pelvic Tilt.
Kneeling: Kneel on all fours with a flat back, tighten the abs and gently arch your back to the ceiling. Don’t let your belly sag down.
Standing: Back up to a wall, with your feet three inches out. Tighten your stomach and buttocks and press your low back to touch the wall.
Avoid all abdominal exercises that require that your lie on your back.
This is not just any kind of stretching exercise, but improvised ones that target the pelvic, hip and thigh muscles. Stretching exercises during pregnancy provides relief for back and shoulder pain, reduces excess muscle tension due to the pressure of the bulging stomach on the back and shoulders.
Kegel can be done before, during and after pregnancy. It’s a great way of tightening the muscles that help hold up the uterus, bladder, and bowels. It’s done by squeezing the pelvic muscles as if to stop urine. This control will be vital during labour. The beauty of kegel is that they can be done anytime and anywhere, without anyone knowing.