Exercise during pregnancy

Exercise during Pregnancy

Pregnancy is condition that demands your to be fit. Taking the right type of nutrition is important, but maintaining an active schedule is vital as well. Your weight gain and flexibility during pregnancy needs to be monitored, hence exercising is a must

Yoga Exercise during pregnancy –

Due its characteristic to maintain a balance between body and mind, yoga is a popular choice of fitness for pregnant women today. However, make sure you practice the various Asanas and Pranayam under the instruction of an instructor.

Pranayam – This is a breathing pattern that allows huge quantities of oxygen to enter your body. Pranayam improves blood flow and provides relaxation. It helps you deal with the mood swings as it stabilises you emotionally. Importantly it helps in easy delivery with less stress. Ideally Pranayam should be practised 3 – 4 hours after your meals, morning hours are recommended.

Meditation – Meditation is the exercise of the mind. Its helps greatly in driving stress away. All you need to do is to find a comfortable place, sit in a comfortable position and concentrate on an object you can focus on like your breathing, a burning candle, a mantra etc. Don’t be discouraged if your attention is diverted, this is common. Practice this every day and gradually increase the time.

Yoga Nidra – This is the ultimate form of relaxation. It is a meditation done by lying down. It helps in distressing the worries seeded deep in the mind. Try and follow this with the help of an instructor.

Benefits of Yoga

  • Yoga improves the oxygen/ blood flow in the body, lowers water retention, strengthens pelvic muscles
  • It relaxes the mind and helps distress. Pranayam gives self control and promotes emotional control.
  • Rhythmic pattern of breathing helps in detoxifying the body.
  • The asanas in yoga help you to develop the required flexibility
  • Due to change in body shape and weight gain the centre of gravity changes, hence the slow moving asanas serve as an apt exercise
  • Yoga helps fight pregnancy discomforts like back aches, nausea, constipation, gas and depression.

Exercise during Pregnancy

The most important exercise for pregnancy is Pelvic Floor Exercise during pregnancy. Strengthening the pelvic muscles is of utmost importance as it holds the bowl, bladder and womb in place. A strong pelvic helps in the in the second stage labour enabling contraction. Also this exercise reduces the chances of stress incontinence developed after delivery.

  • To practice pelvic exercise you need to contract and release your pelvic muscles repeatedly.
  • Pull in your belly button towards the spine, draw in your vagina as if trying to stop the flow of urine
  • Hold this for a few seconds and then release
  • Ensure your muscles are fully relaxed before repeating the procedure
  • Practice this exercise for ten rounds every day

Benefits of Exercise during pregnancy

  • Exercise during pregnancy increases the energy levels of the body. During pregnancy you energy reduces. Though proper nutrition helps improve it but exercising and maintaining an active lifestyle is equally important
  • It improves the blood circulation of the body
  • As exercising increases felicity and endurance it helps greatly during the labour
  • It is possible you may experience bodily discomfort like minor pains during pregnancy. Exercising helps you combat all that.
  • Exercising enables you to prepare your body for birth as your muscles get stronger and you gain control over breathing
  • Also regular exercising releases stress capable of building up during pregnancy

Precautions

  • Opt for pain free exercise during pregnancy. In case you have any difficulty in perform a particular exercise, stop practicing it immediately
  • Drink a lot of water to avoid dehydration
  • Avoid exercising on uneven surfaces
  • Do not exercise in an extremely hot weather

Walking
Walking is the best and the safest exercise during pregnancy. It tones your muscles, improves blood circulation, helps draw in more oxygen and relaxes mind to get peaceful sleep. Walking helps to improve your stamina during labour.

Tips

  • Consider small walks at intervals during the day rather than a long walk
  • Form a schedule like walk on three days in a week for 20 – 30 minutes and gradually increase the time to 30 – 60 minutes
  • Maintain moderate speed while walking, do not brisk walk
  • Take a ‘talk test’ while walking to assess your speed i.e. if you can say a full sentence without huffing and puffing your speed is right
  • Walk with your back straight, do not lean forward or bend backwards
  • Make sure you wear the right kind of foot wear while walking
  • Stretch your muscles before and after walking, this improves flexibility

Benefits

  • Walking regularly during pregnancy works as a cure for constipation
  • This is one exercise that a pregnant woman can practice throughout her term
  • As walking is an excellent cardiovascular it helps you to melt the excess fat and maintain the required weight
  • It helps to have a shorter and easier labour by improving you endurance for the pain
  • Walking not only gives you more energy but also helps in driving out of postpartum depression
  • While walking you meet new people, probably expecting mothers like yourself. Talking with them helps release stress.

Precautions

  • Do not over exert yourself and walk at a moderate speed
  • Avoid strenuous work out during hot weather. This will increase your body heat and will have adverse effects on the foetus.
  • Do not increase your speed in the very beginning, understand your body capacity and gradually work on the speed

Classes for Exercise during Pregnancy

Couples facing pregnancy for the first time have many questions and doubts. Hence they consider taking Pregnancy classes which deals with every possible query a couple on the steps of parenthood could have. Having more information on her condition and how to cope with it helps a women deal with the situation better. Exercise during pregnancy classes help her find such effective information and theories. Many couples consider taking pregnancy classes during the third trimester.

The major queries that pregnancy classes deal with are deals with are breathing techniques, pain management, vaginal and caesarean birth. They educate you on aspects like changes during pregnancy, nutrition, exercises, handling labour and delivery, breastfeeding and baby care.

Benefits -

  • Helps couple understand the development of your baby
  • Gain education on signals in case of any complication
  • It educates on how to deal with pregnancy discomforts and labour
  • Builds understanding the beginning of labour pains and methods for pain relief
  • Most importantly knowing what to expect during labour
  • Pregnancy classes develop confidence in the expecting mother
  • You find a friend that understands your emotional and medical problems, it is easier to discuss any problems faced and get trusted advice

Relaxation
Pregnancy may take a toll on your mental and physical state, but enjoying this special event in life is very important. Hence following are a few ways for you to relax and enjoy this experience.

Techniques of relaxation

Relaxation through Yoga – To relax through yoga, apart from doing the Asanas, Pranayams and Yoga Nidra, you sit on the floor with your legs spread apart. Concentrate on your breathing. This helps in stabilising and supports your pelvis. Spread your legs on to the limit allowed by your body, do not over exert, comfort and safety are of prime importance.

Relaxation through Music – Music provides relaxation t both the mother and the unborn baby. A baby in the mother’s womb is able to distinguish between sounds as early as in 5 months. It gives a feeling of calmness and wellness. Try soothing classical music as it has the perfect of sounds and rhythm for the baby to enjoy. Moreover it promotes the emotional, physical and intellectual development of the baby.

Relaxation through Reading – Reading is another for you help your unborn baby to relax and enjoy along with you. Reading majorly like music promotes the recognition of sound in a baby.  The mother’s voice is the first a baby begins to identify and relate with. Reading to your child will also help you develop a bond. Make this a joint activity by asking your partner to read to the baby, this will make the process even more relaxing.

Relaxation through Massage – The kind of stress a pregnant woman faces is both mental and physical. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage and unwind all tensions. Massage not only helps in relieving body crams and pain but also improves blood and lymph circulation. Many women develop swelling around their feet and hands during pregnancy; massage is an effective option to deal with this.

However, ensure you consult your doctor before you start any exercise during pregnancy!