Safe Exercises during Early Pregnancy
Exercising is one way to improve mental and physical well-being during and after pregnancy. This article will discuss some safe exercises during early pregnancy and the benefits attached to them.
Benefits of Exercise during Pregnancy
- Improved sleep
- Improved mood
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Reduced risk of constipation and back pain
- Reduced risk of diabetes and hypertension during pregnancy
- Helps in maintaining moderate weight during and after pregnancy.
A person who exercises regularly during pregnancy is likely to decrease their chance of needing a cesarean delivery.
Before starting anything new a gazillion thoughts run across our minds. This is also true for when expecting mothers think of making fitness routines for themselves.
Questions like how to start? How much exercise to do? What are the best exercises and many more such questions pop into our heads? But, worry not my dear ladies, we are to help you answer some of those questions and put you at ease.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, women should aim to develop good exercise habits gradually.
The right amount of exercise for an individual will depend on how active they were before becoming pregnant.
If this is your first time at any kind of physical sport, it is best to start with low-impact exercises like walking, yoga, swimming, and water aerobics.
Some slightly more intensive exercise may also be appropriate in the first trimester.
Examples of these include running, jogging, and light to moderate weightlifting. A person should speak with a doctor before starting any new exercises.
How much exercise to do?
If you are a complete beginner it is advised that you start with a small time duration of 10-15 minutes or even less than that and eventually increase your duration.
Always remember to listen to your body and its limits and do not over-exert yourselves.
Best Exercises during Early Pregnancy
Kegels exercises, or pelvic floor exercises, work to strengthen the muscles that support the abdominal organs, including the uterus, vagina, bowel, and bladder. These exercises also help maintain control of bladder function.
Walking and jogging
Walking is one of the most gentle, low-impact forms of exercise, which makes it ideal for pregnant women.
A person who is not used to walking can begin by taking a 10-minute walk every day. During the first trimester, people can gradually build up to taking 30-minute walks three to five times per week, if they choose.
People who are familiar with running can slowly transition from walking to jogging during the first trimester but only on a flat and even surface.
Always prefer wearing comfortable clothes and good shoes with a strong grip while going on a walk.
Going for walks in parks or in a calm natural setting can help you relax and promote well-being.
Remember to enjoy your walk with some of your favorite music tracks or spend some quality time with your partner while taking a stroll!
Swimming and water aerobics
Swimming and water aerobics are low-impact exercises that can help keep the body toned and do not present a risk of falling.
If a person is used to swimming or doing water aerobics, they can go about following their routine as usual.
However, if a person is new to this then they may start with a 30-40 minute class a week and gradually increase it according to their comfort. Make sure you are under proper guidance if you’re a complete beginner
It is one of the safest and most recommended forms of exercise during your pregnancy. It ensures your overall well-being and also helps in calming your mind and reducing stress and anxiety.
Yoga allows people to gently stretch and strengthen their bodies. It also halls in developing skills that can be very helpful during labor, such as controlled breathing and meditation.
You can join online yoga classes and indulge in some relaxing sessions from the comfort of your home.
It is best to take advice from your healthcare provider if you are new to this form of exercise.
This form of exercise improves core strength and balance. It can also help ease lower back pain associated with weight gain.
People who are new to Pilates could start gradually by doing a few sessions of 5-10 minutes per week. They can then work their way forward and attend sessions lasting 30–60 minutes.
Spin classes or Stationary Cycling
Spin classes and stationary cycling on a safe and flat cycling path can be included in your fitness regime.
However, activities such as bike off-roading, mountain biking, and other similar activities are not good for pregnant women due to the risk of falling and injury and should be avoided.
Always carry a sipper bottle with you while exercising to keep you hydrated and not overexert yourself. Always keep the saying in mind ‘small steps can take you a long way!’.
Some tips for exercising safely during pregnancy are-
- Stay hydrated
- Wear comfortable clothes
- Wear well-fitted, non-slip shoes
- Take small breaks between your exercise
- Listen to upbeat songs to give you that boost of energy and keep you motivated
- Listen to calming music while doing yoga to increase your concentration.
- Do not indulge yourself in high-intensity workouts like powerlifting, sprinting, marathon running, etc.
- Avoid sports that have a high risk of falling or injury such as gymnastics, football, basketball, horse riding, skating, etc.
- Avoid exposing yourself to extreme heat and prefer shade and cool environments for exercising.
Including some form of physical activity in your sedentary lifestyle is good and recommended advice for all mothers-to-be. This can help you in ways that you might not even know.
It promotes the growth of a healthy fetus and keeps you in a healthy state as well. But it is very important that you listen to the needs of your body and do not push your limits beyond a certain point.
It is also necessary that you stay in constant touch with your gynecologist and go for your regular checkups so that you are aware of any undesirable development in your pregnancy on time.
Wishing you a happy and healthy pregnancy!