Is it safe to exercise during and after pregnancy?
The answer to this question is “YES”.
Recent Research and Studies show that it is safe for women to exercise during and after pregnancy, if they follow certain basic principles of exercise. Needless to mention doctors’ consent is required before you start any exercise regime. It will also help to determine whether the exercise regime you are following is safe for the mother as well as the child. The safety of the child and the mother is of paramount importance.
Correct Form & Cautions to be taken while exercising.
The Rule of thumb for exercising while you are pregnant is to maintain control over your body and the movements should be done slowly without jerking the body. It is also important to maintain a neutral spine position throughout the pregnancy.
There is no doubt that doing any kind of exercise during the pregnancy will be much harder then exercising during normal days it will become increasingly difficult to maintain the same intensity and workload, it does not matter if you allow the intensity and workload decrease you should listen to your body and be aware of the changes occurring in the body.
During pregnancy, it is difficult to maintain a proper balance of the body, the center of gravity, and the alignment of the body. Further joints may not support the weight of the body and may become unstable hence it is necessary to keep your movement low in impact.
Fast and high-intensity movements, weights, and rubber tubing, etc should be avoided during pregnancy or should be done under expert supervision.
Aerobic Training During Pregnancy
Before starting your exercise, it is essential to warm up for 10 to 15 minutes, it is also important to maintain proper body posture, body alignment, and neutral spine position during warm-up exercises. Beginners should check their heart rate every 5 minutes during exercise and advanced level exercisers should check their heart rate every 10 minutes.
The intensity of exercise should be limited to 60% of maximum heart rate for people who are beginners, experienced people should not exceed 75% of maximum heart rate. Is important to do static stretches during and after exercises, full range of motion should be avoided.
Make sure that you relax your lower back during the exercise don’t focus on Extension and flexibility of the lower back. It is important to focus on the muscles of the shoulder, neck, calf, and hip flexors.
In order to open up the thoracic cavity for deep breathing, it is important to practice overhand arm stretches. This will allow you to inhale more oxygen into your lungs. One should avoid adductor stretches, as this stretch will stress the pelvic bone area which is not good during pregnancy.
While exercising you should focus on slow and sustained stretching, avoid jerking while stretching. When a pregnant woman exercises she reaches the target heart rate more quickly than a non-pregnant woman. While pregnancy the objective of the exercise should be to keep the cardiovascular system healthy and not to challenge it.
Also Read: 30 Minutes HIIT Home Workout
Weight Training During Pregnancy
Any exercise that targets the abdomen is not recommended during pregnancy. Abdominal exercises should be done before pregnancy, as these muscles help during the labor.
The main objective of weight training during pregnancy is not muscle building, the goal should be as simple as to stay in shape. Weight training is very helpful for women planning for pregnancy.
Note it is best to check with your doctor before starting any exercise Regime during exercise.
Exercising During the First Trimester
Women can perform the same abdominal exercises as non-pregnant women during the first trimester of course it has to be done under proper supervision and after consulting the doctor.
Exercising in a supine position is considered safe. Use common sense while exercising and understand the condition of your body.
Exercise During the Second and Third Trimester.
It is advisable to Limit or avoid abdominal exercises during the second and third trimester. Still, if you want to do some abdominal work and if it is recommended by your doctor limit it to 5 minutes only. However, the best exercise for pregnant women is walking.
Also Read: All About Functional Fitness Training
Some Exercises During Pregnancy
- For the first trimester do some pelvic tilt.
- You can perform crunches with the support of a pillow up to the second trimester
- Perform some lower back exercises like let backups up to the second trimester
- Perform C- Curves and Side C-Curves up to the third trimester.
Yoga Asanas During Pregnancy
Practicing Yogasana is useful during and after pregnancy, needless to mention it is important to take prior permission of your doctor before practicing yoga asana.
As mentioned earlier, you should not strain your body while doing asanas, avoid inverted asanas in the later stage of pregnancy.
Here we are listing 7 best yoga poses which will help you to to deal with back pain, cramps, and swollen ankles during pregnancy
- Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
- Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
- Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose)
- Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
- Marjaryasana (Cat-Cow Pose)
- Uttanasana (Forward Band Pose)
- Shavasana (Corpse Pose) After the first trimester this asana can be performed by lying on one side of your back.
Also Read: 3 Best Yogasana To Avoid Brest Cancer
Nutrition During Pregnancy
It is advisable to consult your doctor and professional nutritionist for proper pregnancy and post-pregnancy diet. However, we recommend eating fresh, seasonal, and local food.
- We recommend eating small easily digestible food before exercise.
- It is advisable to drink plenty of water before during and after exercise.
- Avoid caffeinated and carbonated drinks and instead drink natural fresh juices.
- Avoid eating junk and food with preservatives.
- Wear comfortable clothes while exercising preferably cotton.
There is no doubt that exercise will help you recover post-pregnancy however it is important to give your body some time to heal after the pregnancy no matter whether the birth was vaginal or cesarean.
There are different opinions on when to resume exercise post-pregnancy, some say it is safe to resume exercising after 4 to 6 weeks of pregnancy others say you should wait till your bleeding stops.
Listen to your body and don’t hesitate to ask your doctor and take the clearance before resuming exercise.