Pregnancy is a natural phase that comes in every woman’s life who is married and wishes to have a child. The pregnancy stage lasts for 9 months and the entire time is quite stressful and challenging for a woman both physically and mentally. The pregnancy phase is divided into three periods, which are called trimester, and in each period a woman’s body goes through a transformation that begins with conception and lasts until the baby is born.
Pregnancy affects women in different ways, and some of the problems faced by one particular woman may not be faced by another pregnant woman. There are several physicals, emotional, and mental changes that pregnant women go through, and certain medical conditions are quite common, which includes backaches, constipation, indigestion, heartburn, gestational diabetes, varicose veins, lack of sleep, and cramps.
Many doctors suggest pregnant women exercise as it can help them to stay in the best of health during and after pregnancy. There are many low impact exercises that pregnant women can do, and it helps to improve their posture, physical balance and reduce the discomforts such as fatigue and backaches, which increases during labor and when delivery is near. Physical workout ensures a healthy life and is quite essential particularly for pregnant women to stay fit and prepare their body for labor and childbirth. There are numerous studies that suggest physical activity relieves stress, provides more stamina, prevents gestational diabetes, helps in sleep, enhances strength, and allows women to get back into shape quickly after pregnancy.
It is quite easier for women who already are passionate about physical fitness to follow an exercising routine during pregnancy. But women thinking of exercising for the first time must take help and guidance from fitness trainers and gym instructors. Pregnant women should also first consult with their doctor before starting any fitness class. There are many fitness and wellness centers that offer fitness classes, particularly for pregnant women. The fitness trainers know the low impact aerobic exercises which suit best during the three pregnancy trimesters. The doctors and gynecologists suggest pregnant women exercise at least 30 minutes every day which can help to reduce the stress and ensure optimal health for them and the baby. But pregnant women suffering from a medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease must not perform any exercise that can aggravate their condition.
The exercises that can be performed during Pregnancy
Nearly all the low impact exercises can be performed during pregnancy, but the trick is to perform carefully and not overdo it. Some of the safe and best physical activities during pregnancy include walking briskly, swimming, cycling on an indoor stationary bike, using a step or elliptical machines, doing yoga, and low impact aerobics.
What activities or movements should be avoided during pregnancy?
Many of the pregnant women are quite eager to stay fit that they start a physical workout before proper consultation and practice, which lead to exhaustion and stress. There are certain exercises that are not allowed during pregnancy as it increases the chance of strain and injury which can complicate pregnancy. The physical activities that pregnant women should avoid include
- Holding your breath more for longer periods during exercise and particularly in a yoga class
- Contact sports such as basketball, football, or softball
- Exercises that require constant movement, jumping, running or bouncing
- Doing physical activity in hot and humid weather
There are different options that women have during pregnancy fitness classes such as weight training by holding a pair of dumbbells, doing Pilates, using different exercising equipment such as elliptical, treadmills, and stationary bike, but the easiest and convenient exercise program for pregnant women is a yoga class.
- Yoga is considered the best exercise as it relaxes the body physically, mentally, and spiritually. There are many postures and movements involved in the yoga class that eases muscle tension, relieve the stress, and prepares the body for labor and childbirth.
- Spinning and cycling classes are also quite beneficial for pregnant women as the movement of leg muscles helps in blood circulation and increases the stamina, which is needed during labor and delivery. The increases blood circulation ensures that proper nutrients and oxygen can reach the body organs and the growing baby.
- Barre classes are ballet-inspired fitness classes that pregnant women can also participate in. The Barre classes are quite effective as it involves minimal jumping and includes plenty of squats.
- Pilates is quite similar to yoga and enhances the muscles and helps a pregnant woman coordinate their breathing according to their body’s movements. But pregnant women should avoid lying on their backs.
- Circuit training is another option that is suitable before, during, and after pregnancy. The circuit training involves both cardio and strength training.
- Water aerobics is another exercise that can reduce the pain felt during labor. Swimming is the best physical activity to maintain body weight without putting pressure on the joints and ligaments. A pregnant woman can easily workout and burn calories without any significant impact on their body.
- Ellipticals and stair climbers are also two of the low impact fitness workout that will help a woman to build muscle strength and stamina during pregnancy.
The pregnant women should also follow proper guidelines during fitness classes which includes
- Wearing loose-fitting clothes that are comfortable and easy during a yoga class
- Choosing a flat and soft pair of shoes that are made for the particular fitness exercise
- Performing the exercise on a flat surface to avoid injury and muscle strain
- Not eating heavy food one hour before the fitness class
- Consuming considerable calories that can meet the energy needs during the exercise
- Keeping a water bottle with you in the class
- Listen to your body and mind and do not exhaust yourself during the exercise
- Know when something does not feels right and stop doing the exercise.
- Taking time to relax after the yoga a class and then gradually getting up to avoid dizziness and imbalance