10 Best Exercises for a Pregnant Woman
Right from the moment you discover you’re pregnant, you start worrying about two things: one, the good health of your unborn baby, and, two, whether or not you’ll be able to have a normal delivery without any complication. As being physically active and healthy is one among those important factors which directly influence the growth of your baby, doing some regular exercises becomes extremely crucial when you’re pregnant. Let's take a look at a few ‘safe to do’ pregnancy exercises that help you stay fit when you're pregnant as well as increase the likelihood of a normal, uncomplicated delivery.
Brisk Walking is one of the best, easiest and safest cardiovascular exercises you can do throughout the nine months of your pregnancy. Having a very low impact on your back, knees, and ankles, it not only keeps your heart strong and muscles toned but also helps you burn off any extra weight gained during pregnancy. So, aim to walk for at least 30 minutes twice a day while you’re pregnant!
Swimming and other water workouts are also considered to be safe for a pregnant woman as there is no risk of losing the balance, falling on your abdomen, or injuring the unborn baby. Exercising in water strengthens your muscles, regulates your blood pressure, relieves swollen ankles and most importantly, helps you feel weightless no matter how big your baby bump is. Swimming is so safe that you can even do it in the ninth month of your pregnancy.
Also Read: 8 Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy
Usually performed on a mat or a chair, stretching exercises are a great way to keep your pregnant body supple and relaxed. Adding stretching to your regular workouts improves your blood circulation, strengthens your tummy and pelvic floor muscles, and minimizes the chances of any back pain during pregnancy. However, these exercises must be performed with utmost caution to avoid muscle strains.
Performing squats throughout the pregnancy plays a vital role in opening the pelvic outlet more during delivery, allowing more space for the baby to descend. Squatting is a very easy and age-old exercise that strengthens your pelvic and uterine muscles, reduces lower back pain and alleviates labor pain. Despite squatting is a very fatiguing exercise; you should practice it frequently to lower delivery pain.
Aside from swimming and brisk walking, cycling is another great low-impact cardiovascular exercise that you can do to get your heart beat rate up without putting too much pressure on your ankle and knee joints. While you’re pregnant, riding a standard bicycle can be risky for you due to the extra weight of your growing belly. Hence, prefer riding a stationary bike which is a much better and popular option.
Named after gynecologist Arnold Kegel, these exercises are highly recommended for a pregnant woman to strengthen her pelvic floor muscles, which sustain great strain throughout the pregnancy. Preparing your pelvic muscles to bear the delivery pain, they make the entire process of childbirth a lot easier. One of the best things about Kegel exercises is that they can be done anytime, anywhere – absolutely without any equipment.
Pelvic Tilt or Angry Cat:
Pelvic tilt, if done on all fours properly, can strengthen your abdominal muscles, making them sturdy enough to bear the pain during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Additionally, this exercise improves the flexibility of your back and helps you get rid of a backache. Another similar exercise that you can try to relax and strengthen your low back muscles is the Angry Cat.
As the name itself suggests, prenatal yoga is a special kind of yoga that is designed to help pregnant women relax, strengthen their muscle system and regulate overall blood pressure in various trimesters of pregnancy. Utilizing yoga postures specifically geared toward a pregnant woman, prenatal yoga improves the flexibility and endurance of your body, making it possible for you to having a normal pregnancy and delivery. In fact, it is best known for reducing both the pain and duration of the labor.
Much like prenatal yoga and stretching, Pilates workouts focuses mainly on strengthening your core tummy and pelvic floor muscles that are often weakened during pregnancy. Pilates, which are generally performed by pregnant women during their second trimester, involve performing various breathing exercises and pelvic thrusts preferably on a mat or another carpeted surface –keeping you limber and strong for new motherhood.
Light Weight Training:
While lifting heavy objects is strictly prohibited during pregnancy, you can always exercise with light weights to keep your muscles toned and firm. As long as you are careful and use a good technique, light weight training is a great way to prepare your muscles for all the baby-lifting you'll be doing soon. However, you must avoid overheating and fatigue during light weight training in pregnancy.