Being physically fit is one of the best ways we can be healthy and happy. Exercise has many wonderful benefits such as giving us energy, ensuring positive moods and enabling a better night’s sleep at days end.
Exercising will enhance your entire pregnancy experience. It aids in oxygen delivery to both you and your baby, while keeping you strong for delivery, as well as helping to prevent complications such as gestational diabetes.
If you were preparing for a big race or important sports event, you would begin by researching and figuring out your preparation routine. Diet, exercise and sleep are all important ways to get ready for the event.
Childbirth is like a marathon of sorts; for that reason it is essential for pregnant women to lay the groundwork for the big day by preparing accordingly.
As with all forms of exercise, it is imperative that you advise your physician of your plans. Your doctor may have guidelines to set for you as you journey over the next nine months.
If you are already a fit and active person, that is a bonus. Continue with your healthy lifestyle and reap the benefits of staying active throughout your journey. For those of you who are presently sedentary, it is important to begin one or all of the following exercise forms now to ensure a healthy pregnancy and prepare your body for an easier delivery, all the while enjoying the benefits of regular exercise throughout the next nine months.
Walking is one of the easiest and most economical forms of exercise. A very beneficial result from walking is that it helps you maintain your balance, which is crucial to your comfort as your body grows and becomes more cumbersome in the last trimester of your pregnancy.
Going for a brisk walk daily also works many of the muscles you will be using during delivery. The gluteus muscles in your butt and the hamstrings at the back of your thighs gain tone and strength from regular motion.
Your quadriceps and inner thigh muscles are engaged and extended, building up the stamina you will appreciate on delivery day. Walking additionally engages your hips, abdominals, and waist and back muscles.
- Start walking today for an easier delivery nine months from now.
- Buy proper shoes with good support and a solid heel.
- Include hills in your workout.
- Keep hydrated.
- Stretch before and after your walk.
2. Stationary Bike
A stationary bike can be a great form of exercise during pregnancy. It is deemed safe for all trimesters. However, do not start a stationary bike regimen far into your pregnancy unless you are a regular biker.
If you know you would enjoy the stationary bike, begin this form of exercise now, at the beginning of your pregnancy. You can use your stationary bike rain or shine, which makes it a good choice.
Your weight is supported and you have very minimal chance of falling. Biking will increase your stamina for childbirth because your heart is getting an optimal workout. Monitor your heart rate as you bike. Your hip flexors are enjoying optimal movement, gaining flexibility necessary in delivery.
- A stationary bike strengthens your back muscles, which supports your posture.
- Make sure the handlebars are at the right height and the seat is comfortable.
- Many users of the stationary bike choose the recumbent bike which has a cushioned back and pedals in front.
Swimming is one of the optimal forms of prenatal exercise. Non weight bearing, and an exercise that relieves stress on the joints, swimming also improves your cardiovascular health immensely.
Swimming is very aerobic and aids in processing and utilizing of oxygen to both you and your growing baby. As you grow in size month by month, you can continue to swim at the same intensity you started out with, by virtue of the fact that there is no pressure on your limbs and spine. As your baby grows in size, you may find a decrease in your lung capacity. Adjust for this by changing your choice of stroke and breathing patterns to suit your ability.
This water sport increases muscle tone in your arms and torso; overall fitness such as that provided by swimming is an excellent way to prepare your body for delivery.
Using both your arms and legs, as well as your heart and lungs, swimming does provide an optimal yet comfortable form of exercise as you prepare for delivery.
- Swimming allows you to keep cool as you exercise, but remember staying hydrated is vital to feeling good as you work out.
- No diving.
- Swimming, as in other forms of regular exercise, prevents you from excessive weight gain. Extra pounds gained because of lack of fitness can make the delivery process harder.
- Don’t overdo it. Be aware of your body’s signals.
Another exceptional way to prepare your body for an easier delivery is yoga. Body flexibility is key to the labor process, as is muscle strength.
Yoga provides both of these benefits. Along with stimulating the circulatory system of both you and baby, the stretching and slow movements found in this exercise coupled with technique, equip you with excellent knowledge for childbirth.
Many women have found that the strength building, breathing techniques and general sense of calm and well being that is acquired through yoga contributes to an easier delivery.
Yoga can be done throughout your entire pregnancy. The hormone relaxing, which increases greatly in pregnancy, softens the ligaments at the front of the pelvis in order for childbirth to take place. The combination of this hormone and the stretching of ligaments provided by yoga exercises are a great union, working together for an easier delivery.
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- Maintain your yoga practise on a regular basis to build upon your balance skills.
- Working both sides of the body favors all over strength conditioning.
- From the second trimester on, avoid poses that put you flat on your back so you don’t put too much pressure on your veins, or decrease blood flow to your heart.
- Poses such as the butterfly and the plié are excellent stretches for the lower back and thighs.
Always stop your exercise routine if you are experiencing the following:
- shortness of breath
- vaginal bleeding
- pain of any kind