Many pregnant women stop getting fit, fearing that the routine may put their babies at risk. The fear is validated.
After all, report says that about 280 Aussie women experience miscarriage each day during the early phase of pregnancy, particularly before the 20-week gestational period.
But to completely avoid exercise is a misconception. There are safe and doable fitness routines for preggies like you, recommended by doctors:
Swimming is considered the best exercise for pregnant women, particularly indoor swimming. You are able to create bigger and wider range of movements under water without the risk of joint injuries and bump collisions.
Nowadays, you can even do regular walking and aerobics in the water, and experts say you can very well do so even in the 3rd trimester.
As a precautionary measure, you must choose strokes that do not strain your arms, neck, and shoulders, like breaststroke which requires less rotations. Avoid diving and dipping in overly hot pools as well.
As your bump gets bigger, you eventually find it hard to move around because of the extra weight and unexpected obstruction.
Slipping is a common cause for injuries among pregnant women. So you need to be able to keep your balance since day 1, and the easiest way to do so is by walking.
Walk around the neighborhood when the weather seems conducive. Besides conditioning your heart and leg muscles, walking also relaxes your mind as it triggers the release of oxytocin, the cuddle hormone. But remember to wear supportive sneakers and honor your pace.
If you’re generally an active person, you may prefer a more dynamic exercise routine when pregnant.
There are many prenatal yoga classes being offered in Australia, ranging from mild to moderately intense. As pregnancy conditions vary across different women, seek approval from your physician first.
Yoga keeps you flexible, improves circulation, and strengthens your muscles. However, during your 2nd and 3rd trimester, avoid poses that test your balance and put pressure on your core.
Experts also advise to always listen to your body and avoid overstretching because your body is naturally at its relaxed state with the abundance of relaxin, the ‘flexibility and mobility’ hormone during pregnancy.
Groups organise special aerobics classes for women. Not only is group aerobics fun and dynamic, it also improves cardio fitness and opens your door to socialize with others.
It’s equally important to stay holistically well when pregnant and this includes your social well-being.
Yet if you like doing Zumba on your own, it’s also fairly easy as there are widely available tutorial videos nowadays.
But stay away from high-impact routines to avoid slipping and falling accidents. When possible, perform your workout on a mat or cushioned flooring.
Doing weights while pregnant is recommended by doctors as well under strict guidance. Building muscle tone is crucial because of the extra weight you have to carry for 9 long months.
Skip isometric exercises and stick to simple routines that use lightweights. Some Pilates moves for pregnant women use weights and resistance bands which you can also try.
Your trained instructor will be able to watch over you as you perform the routines, thus lowering the risk of meeting accidents.
You certainly do not need to idle around when pregnant. In fact, it’s a more compelling reason to move around to prepare your body for the greater pressure during the last trimester up to labor. A good 30 minutes a day is more than enough.