Advice when Exercising while Pregnant

November 12, 2012

Advice when Exercising while Pregnant

Exercising throughout your pregnancy is an excellent way to ensure that you can regain your body shape after the birth of the baby and also adjusting to the physical changes you are experiencing.

If you already have an exercise regime which involves walking, yoga or dancing, continue the exercising while pregnant as it will be of benefit during labor.

Prior to taking part in any exercise do a warm up and remember to cool down afterwards. Aim to be active for 30 minutes per day if you can. In warm weather keep the exercise gentle and ensure you are hydrated. Do not over exert yourself when exercising. Let any teacher know you are exercising while pregnant and make sure that they are properly qualified.

Aqua aerobics in the swimming pool is a great form of exercising while pregnant as the water supports the weight gain which occurs in pregnancy. Exercising while pregnant makes you feel good in yourself and the physical benefits of the muscles and joints getting stronger, circulation improving and being in the water helps to alleviate any backache you may be experiencing due to the baby getting bigger.

The muscles of the pelvic floor are under severe strain when pregnant and during labor therefore carrying out exercising while pregnant is an excellent way to strengthen them. Stress incontinence is very common in pregnant women, and causes urine to leak when straining, sneezing or coughing. This can carry on after the birth of the baby, but by carrying out the exercises the muscles become stronger. This in turn helps to lessen the chance of stress incontinence after the birth.

To do pelvic floor exercises, try to close the anus as if trying to stop a movement from the bowel and pull in your vagina, e.g. attempting to hold a tampon in place as well as drawing in the urethra to stop the run of urine. When you first start doing these exercises tighten and contract the muscles in quick succession and then aim to do them slowly, three sets of eight squeezes per day.

To carry out pelvic tilt exercises stand with the shoulders and bottom against a wall and keep the knees soft. Pull the belly button toward the spine to enable the back to become flat against the wall. Maintain this position for four seconds and repeat up to 10 times.

To lessen back ache try this exercise to strengthen the muscles in the stomach. Start on all fours with fingers facing the front and abdomen lifted to keep the back level. Draw in the muscles of the stomach and raise the back upwards, curl in the body and let the head relax. Hold this position for a second or two before returning to the start. Carry out this exercise slow and gentle up to 10 times and take care when moving your back so no discomfort is experienced.

After 16 weeks pregnant do not take part in any exercise whereby you have to lie flat as the weight of the baby presses on blood vessels and you may feel faint. Do not take part in sports where any collision could occur such as squash or kickboxing. Avoid exercise which could involve falling, e.g. horse riding and/or ski-ing. Exercising while pregnant when you are above 2500m above sea level can lead to altitude sickness, therefore ensure that you have acclimatized.

Category: Articles