You are constipated and bloated. Your back, ankles and everything in between hurts. You cannot sleep. Congratulations, you are pregnant. While you are a part of the miracle of birth and the whole pregnancy is going to be a life-changing act for you, there is nothing you can do to minimize the constant body aches and sore feet.
While there are myths floating around that pregnant women shouldn’t work out, working out can provide you with a lot of health benefits. Not only will you be fit, but it will be beneficial for your baby as well. It will be easier for you to go back to your pre-pregnancy shape if you continue to work out.
But, the question remains, how much should you work out?
Gynaecologists have suggested expecting mom to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. These 30 minutes can be divided in 10 minutes routine over the day or you can simply go for a straight 30-minute session. You don’t need to particularly indulge in exercising, cleaning your house and light yard work also counts as mild exercise.
Which exercises are safe for you?
Get your gym clothes on and try out these safe exercises for pregnant women.
Swimming and water aerobics combined are a great way of working out as you will feel lighter in water. Also, a dip in the water will relieve all the stress, nausea and puffy ankles. It is also gentle on your body and helps you to loosen your joints and ligaments. A cool dip in the pool will also help you to calm down your mood swings and to remain relaxed.
The best exercise for pregnant women would surely be walking. There is no time limit on this and you can do it right up to your D-day. You also don’t need any special equipment to break a sweat. Just lace up your shoes and get moving. You can wake up early and walk in a park to get fresh air or you can opt for a small hike to calm you down. Just remember to avoid unruly terrain later in pregnancy.
If walking seems too monotonous to you, you can opt for running. If you were regular at the tracks before pregnancy, just you can stick to running during the early days of your pregnancy. You can also hit the treadmill or the elliptical machines, just remember to stay on level road. Don’t over exert yourself as loose ligaments and joints can make running more difficult on your knees, resulting in injury.
Dancing or Aerobics
This fun activity can be a real stress-buster as you get to interact with other to-be-moms and share all the pregnancy details. Low-impact aerobics will help to get your heart rate up and your endorphins flowing. But in later stages of pregnancy, avoid any dance routines that require balancing. Keep a check on your breathing while dancing and don’t exercise to the point of exhaustion.
While it feels amazing to take out your bike outside and feel the wind blowing on your face, it is extremely dangerous for expecting moms as the extra weight of the baby can affect your balance. Indoor cycling can help you to get your heart rate up without putting pressure on your ankle and knees. It lets you pedal at your own pace without the risk of losing balance and falling down.
If you want to build stronger muscles to bear the weight you will gain throughout your pregnancy and to protect your joints from injuries, you can go for weight lifting. Go for lower weights than usual and remember to stretch after you are done.
Strengthening your core during pregnancy will help you to get rid of all the backaches and will improve your posture as you grow bigger. The flexibility gained will help you during labor.
While it is a great idea to be fit during pregnancy, consult with your doctor to see what’s okay with you and what is not.