Pregnancy is both a magical and strange time in a woman’s life. It is a time where you are constantly wondering if this strange body, with its new needs and wants could possibly be yours.
Then what better time to start exercising as it can increase your sense of control of your new…and slightly rounder body, as well as boosting your depleting energy levels. Not only does exercise make you feel better by releasing endorphins, it can also relieve backaches and improve your posture by strengthening and toning muscles in your back, butt, and even thighs.
Exercising during your pregnancy can help activate a crucial lubricant fluid that can stop your joins from loosening up due to pregnancy hormonal changes. It also helps you to sleep better by relieving the stress and anxiety that might make you restless at night.
You will also gain strong muscles and a fit heart by exercising and the combination of those two elements could greatly ease the difficulties that you might have during labour. And in the event of a lengthy labour, which does happen, increased endurance can be a real help.
But the best part of all; if you maintain a regular exercise routine during your pregnancy…you will be back to your pre-pregnancy body quicker compared to other mums who do not stick to a fitness plan during their pregnancy.
Exercise to avoid during pregnancy
That said, despite all the benefits of exercise during pregnancy. There are some exercise that you should avoid when pregnant.
First things first, it is best to avoid exercising while lying on your back, since the weight of the baby may interfere with blood circulation and reduce blood flow to the heart, resulting in you feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
Also avoid any exercise that involves long periods of standing when pregnant. A study from The Netherlands suggests that standing for long hours during pregnancy may slow the baby’s growth.
You should also stay away from activities with high risk of falling over such as skiing, roller blading and horseback riding, contact sports like basketball, hockey and volleyball, excessive bouncing and jumping like running and jumping jacks. Even mild injuries to the “tummy” area can be serious when you’re pregnant.
Scuba diving is also not suitable for pregnant women as gas bubbles could form in baby’s blood stream. It also increases your risk of miscarriage, and of having a baby who has birth defects.
Do also avoid high intensity aerobics, which puts unnecessary stress on the joints. Although some doctors say step aerobics workouts are acceptable if you can lower the height of your step as your pregnancy progresses, others caution that a changing centre of gravity makes falling much more likely. Whatever it is, we strongly suggest that you use common sense when embarking on your pregnancy fitness regime.
With regards to running, it’s best to keep that to post partum unless you are an experienced runner. Running can put you at risk of knee injuries and leave you dehydrated.
While swimming is okay, you shouldn’t swim in water that’s 32 degrees C or higher. Most pools are around 30 degrees C, unless the water has been heated for a specific purpose.
High-altitude sports, such as hot-air ballooning and mountaineering, should also be avoided. The change in oxygen levels puts you and your baby at risk of altitude sickness.
Waterslides and most amusement park rides should stay off your list as well. They often involve a forceful landing, or sudden speeding up or slowing down, which could harm your baby.
It is imperative for you to stop your regime and hurry on to the nearest hospital if you experience any form or unusual pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, vaginal bleeding and urine contractions during exercising.
And always remember to check with your health care providers if you are unsure about anything…or you can even drop us a line at theAsianparent.com Facebook fanpage and we will check it out for you.
Source: Kidshealth.org , WebMD.com
Also read: Is hot yoga during pregnancy safe