How to do workouts during pregnancy? Is exercising during pregnancy dangerous for you and your baby, or does it have benefits? How should you do pregnancy workouts if you did not do any before? What if you did professional sports before getting pregnant? These are some of the questions you might have.
Pregnancy will change your body a lot, so it takes time for you to return to your previous shape. Therefore, many pregnant moms think about ways to help them return to their pre-pregnancy shape.
Well, the best way is to do sports and practice pregnancy workouts or prenatal workouts.
Doing workouts during pregnancy will not only do you no harm (if done correctly) but also help you return to your original body shape. You can do various exercises, like abdominal exercises, which help you build your abdominal muscles. Another example is the core workout, which engages your core to have a strong core.
Other benefits include losing weight, reducing lower back pain, and experiencing an easier labor time.
Also, these special workouts for pregnant women can reduce the possibility of miscarriage, giving birth to a low-birth-weight baby, and premature birth.
Essential Tips for Doing Pregnancy Workouts
If you used to do workouts before pregnancy, you could continue exercising during pregnancy, too. And if you have never done any workouts before, pregnancy can be a good start to do some and have a pregnancy workout plan.
All you need to do is start doing workouts for as little as 5 minutes and gradually increase it to 30 minutes daily. In fact, you begin with light exercises and slowly build an exercise routine for yourself.
The general rule is to know if a medical problem may hold you from doing workouts. The second rule is to know and choose the right kind of exercise you can do. You should listen to your body very carefully.
For example, you can ask your doctor about this during the first prenatal appointment. Generally, sports such as horseback riding, basketball, hot yoga, downhill skiing, and similar sports are dangerous during pregnancy. These sports involve falling, crashing, and hitting.
You can devote two and a half hours of your weekly time to Pilates, prenatal yoga, swimming, or walking, the simplest possible sports activity. You can spread this time in your whole week.
Generally, the pregnancy workouts you choose should be aerobic activities performed at a moderate speed. It shouldn’t have a high impact on your body. Also, adjust the speed of your workout so that it does not put any pressure on you and simultaneously increases your heart rate.
Pregnancy Workout Benefits
In short, the benefits of pregnancy workouts can be explained this way:
Eliminating stress and renewing energy:
If pregnancy has caused you anxiety, especially if this is your first-time pregnancy, doing a regular workout is one of the best ways to distract your mind and renew energy.
Choosing a safe place outside the house to do sports is better if it is possible for you. For example, you can go to your community pool for a swim or have a brisk walk in the nearby park. In this way, you uplift your spirit.
Reducing common physical pains and problems during pregnancy:
Workout reduces the risk of constipation, back pain, and leg swelling. If you work out, it is more likely that you will not develop gestational diabetes or preeclampsia during pregnancy.
Preparation for labor time:
Practicing pregnancy workouts is an excellent way to prepare your body for vaginal delivery. This way, you will find less need to do a C-section or Cesarean birth. You strengthen your heart, muscles, breathing, and blood vessels through the workout, plus there are special pregnancy ab workouts to try.
Who Should Not Do Workout during Pregnancy?
Despite all the positive points that a workout brings, exercising is unsuitable for some moms-to-be during pregnancy.
For example, those who are likely to face preterm labor, have vaginal bleeding, or pregnant moms diagnosed with cervical insufficiency should not do workouts. Cervical insufficiency or incompetent cervix means the cervix opens too early during pregnancy.
Suppose you are diagnosed with being pregnant with twins, triplets, or more (called multiples). In that case, you may be prohibited from doing sports or only be able to do light workouts like walking, yoga, meditation, and swimming.
Suppose you suffer from certain heart or lung problems or have anemia. In that case, you should consult with your health care provider before exercising.
Pregnancy Safe Workouts Movements
Although you should get the necessary approval from your midwife or doctor, before doing workouts as a pregnant mom, remember to never do these movements:
- Bouncing movements: because it may cause you to fall to the ground.
- Workouts that expose your belly to any kind of hit: An example includes all sorts of sports that use a ball to perform, such as basketball or soccer. Even diving in the water or water skiing poses the same danger. Boxing is also prohibited for this reason.
- Any type of movement that requires you to lie flat on your back: Especially after the first trimester of pregnancy, it is better not to do this type of workout. In this case, your uterus can pressure the vein responsible for delivering blood to the heart and disrupt blood flow to the fetus.
In general, avoid doing fast movements in a way that makes you short of breath and increases your body temperature. In this regard, if you go to the swimming pool and use the sauna, be careful not to sit in the hot tub for a long time. The last thing to notice is not to do workouts at high altitudes like mountains.
Pregnancy Workouts to Strengthen your Pelvic Floor
You have probably heard about the importance of strengthening your pelvic muscles during pregnancy. The pelvic floor is a set of skeletal muscles located at the base of the pelvis. Its special structure is shaped like a bowl that connects other bones.
The structure of the female pelvis is in a form that controls the pressure in our body in cooperation with other muscles such as the abdominal, back, and diaphragm muscles.
Due to a growing baby inside you, your weight will increase during pregnancy, and your baby bump becomes bigger, so your walking style changes. The distribution of weight throughout your body will become different. Therefore, it is necessary to pay more attention to the health of the pelvic floor and strengthen it by doing particular workouts during pregnancy and after delivery.
Workout after Giving Birth
If you start doing workouts when pregnant, it will be easier for you to return to the previous exercise routine after giving birth. When you can start exercising again depends on the type of labor you had.
For example, women who give birth vaginally and do not face certain complications during childbirth can start exercising a few days after giving birth.
But women who give birth to their child by cesarean or have problems during childbirth should start exercising again after consulting a doctor.
Doing workouts during pregnancy is generally not prohibited. Of course, you must consult your doctor about this; if there is no threat to you and your baby’s health, you can work out some pregnancy exercises. Gradually, as your baby grows and your weight increases, reduce the intensity of sports movements.
For this purpose, you can devote half an hour a day to performing safe workout movements. You can choose swimming, yoga, walking, brisk running, and even professional sports such as tennis to keep your fitness level up (in case you used to do it before getting pregnant).
As such, you can pursue your professional sports just like pre-pregnancy with some adjustments in your workout routine.
Altogether, pregnancy workouts will increase your energy, reduce stress and prepare you for giving birth to your little one.