8 Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy
We all know the importance of exercise during pregnancy! Not only it helps you stay fit, healthy and active, but also it ensures the proper growth and development of your unborn baby. While there are several exercises that are safe to perform during pregnancy, there are also some you should absolutely steer clear of in order to eliminate the risk of injury or sudden miscarriage. Here’s a list of exercises to avoid during pregnancy!
Also Read: 10 Best Exercises for a Pregnant Woman
Sit Ups or Abdominal Crunches:
Right from your first trimester, avoid doing exercises that require you to lie on your back or stomach. While sit-ups or crunches might have been an important part of your workout regimen before pregnancy, you should stop doing them right now. Putting too much pressure on your abdominal area while your muscles are already so stretched, these exercises can cause injury to your bulging tummy. And any sort of injury, small or big, may lead to major consequences while you’re pregnant!
Running and Jogging:
Unless you’re a running pro, it is advised not to run and jog when you’re pregnant. There are high chances you’ll lose balance, fall down and get injured. Instead, taking a long brisk walk for at least 20 minutes twice a day is a much better option to stay fit and strong during pregnancy. Also, you shouldn't jump or play contact sports such as volleyball and basketball at this delicate time of your life.
Heavy Weight Training:
While weight training is a great way to strengthen muscles and maintain your energy levels during pregnancy, you must avoid lifting heavy weights when you’re expecting. Lifts performed with heavy weights are considered to put too much pressure on your cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system, which eventually leads to various pregnancy problems like a muscle strain, leaking urine, uterine prolapsed and sometimes even miscarriage. Hence, exercise with light weights to keep your muscles active and toned!
High Impact Aerobics:
Like heavy weight lifting, high-impact aerobics such as jumping, bouncing, and hopping are considered unsafe during pregnancy due to an increased risk of falling and injury. However, you are free to include low-impact aerobic exercises - like swimming, walking, aqua aerobics and indoor cycling - into your daily routine. But, if you’ve experienced miscarriage or any kind of uterine complications in the past, consult with your doctor twice before even attempting low-impact aerobics.
Certain Kinds of Yoga:
Yoga is definitely a wonderful way to prepare your body for childbirth and labor, but certain types of yoga position should always be avoided during pregnancy. These includes yoga poses that require extreme stretching, breath-holding or changes to the center of gravity. Also, avoid performing yoga under hot and humid conditions (such as Bikram Yoga) as it can cause you to overheat and increase your baby's chances of developing neural tube defects. If you really want to try yoga during pregnancy, Prenatal Yoga is a much better and safer option.
High-Intensity Interval Workouts:
While high-intensity interval workouts play a vital role in burning more calories and improving one's overall fitness, they can prove to be extremely dangerous for a pregnant woman. HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts can not only overheat your pregnant body but also put large amounts of stress on your heart – which is already pumping hard to move an extra 30 % of blood through your changing body. So, better to refrain from them!
If you have been cycling regularly, you can continue to do so in the early stages of pregnancy but as soon as your second trimester starts, say goodbye to cycling. After the 4th or 5th month of pregnancy, your growing tummy begins to restrict your leg movements, which makes you feel unbalanced and puts you at the risk of falling. Instead, prefer riding a stationary bike at a gym or in your own home, if possible.
When you’re pregnant, your body intensifies the production of a protein hormone called Relaxin. As the name itself suggests, the primary function of this hormone is to soften the structure of your musculoskeletal system (particularly around the pelvis) in order to prepare your body for labor pain and delivery. Don't squat more than 90 degrees in pregnancy as this can make your joint structures prone to injury and over-stretch your already relaxed ligaments around the pelvis, leading to injuries and issues like a backache.