Exercising during pregnancy provides multiple benefits. It reduces the aches and pains that accompany pregnancy, boost your mood, and helps you get better sleep. It also reduces your risk of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Most importantly, it prepares you for childbirth by increasing your endurance and strengthening your muscles, and it helps you get back in shape quickly after delivery.
Wondering what types of exercises are best during delivery? The truth is, most exercises are safe for you, although some of them might not be convenient for you during the last few months of your pregnancy.
You’re free to engage in any exercise that gets your heart pumping, strengthens your muscles, and helps you burn extra calories without causing undue stress for you or your baby. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends exercising for 30 minutes a day for pregnant women.
Though there are many exercises that are safe for pregnant women, the following are particularly recommended because they are relatively easy, yet they produce great results.
Walking is one of the best cardiovascular exercises you can engage in while pregnant. Though it might look too “ordinary”, walking keeps you fit without hurting your ankles and knees. It’s very convenient because you can do it anywhere, it requires no equipment (except maybe a good pair of shoes), and it’s safe throughout pregnancy.
So, if you think walking during pregnancy is stress, you’re wrong. Walking is actually more beneficial than you could imagine. So, get walking!
Fitness experts and healthcare providers regard swimming as the best and safest exercise for pregnant women. Swimming is ideal because is provides cardiovascular benefits (such as keeping the heart pumping faster), engages the muscles of the arms and legs, and allows you to feel weightless despite carrying extra weight in your tummy.
If you can swim well, then do it regularly. Aside that it gives you the benefits explained, swimming is also fun. And your developing baby would be cool with it, too (just kidding!).
Unknown to most people, dancing is a good way to get your heart pumping faster. If you want to confirm this, dance to your favorite music for thirty minutes and check your heart rate. You’d notice your heart beating faster than normal.
So, during pregnancy, dancing is one of the best and easiest exercises you can engage in. Though it doesn’t have much effect on your muscles, it produces significant cardiovascular benefits. And it’s fun, too.
Stretching is another easy way to exercise during pregnancy. It helps keep your body limber and relaxed. And it helps prevent muscle strain by keeping your muscles in good shape.
Though it doesn’t bring much cardiovascular benefits, helps you get back in shape quickly after delivering your baby. For best results, combine stretching with dancing (not together at the same time, though).
- Low-impact aerobics
Aerobic exercises helps tone up your muscles and strengthens your heart. And when they’re not too rigorous, they’re safe for you during pregnancy. It’s recommended that you do your aerobics under the supervision of a fitness professional, so you’ll be restricted to safe limits.
Here are some basic exercise guidelines you should adhere to during pregnancy:
- Wear loose, comfortable clothes and a good support bra
- Wear proper-sized shoes
- Exercise at least one hour after eating
- Drink enough water before, during, and after exercising
- To avoid injury, exercise on a flat, level surface
- Don’t exercise to the point of exhaustion. Once you can no longer talk normally while exercising, stop.