Pregnancy is that time in a woman’s life when a lot of energy is lost, especially in the first and last trimesters. Moreover, physical activity, which in any case is important for a healthy well-being, becomes a tad more important for a woman about to give birth. During these nine months staying active is imperative for a comfortable child birth provided that is possible and advisable. Staying fit during pregnancy has various benefits for it aids in carrying the weight gain; helps deal with the stress of labor, and also getting back to shape after the baby is born. So here is a list of top 10 tips to stay active during pregnancy but it is essential that you consult a certified medical practitioner before following any of the below mentioned tips.
10. Adequate Sleep:
As pregnancy progresses, the weight gain might make it difficult to sleep but effort should be made to ensure at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep as that helps in rejuvenating the body. Lack of sleep actually spoils health, makes you lethargic and prevents a mother-to-be from being active which could be detrimental to her health. So whatever it takes, ensure adequate sleep!
Yes, believe it or not dancing is a good way to stay fit and active during pregnancy. Whether in a class or just the living room, dancing helps in toning and stretching the muscles. It is a great aerobic workout and along with the physical benefits, also elevates moods and relieves stress. A short warm up followed by dance for about 20 to 25 minutes about three times a week is a good thumb rule to be followed. As weight is gained during pregnancy, care must be taken to maintain balance and avoid any injuries so avoid those body twisting, foot thumping steps.
8. Biking with a difference:
Since weight gain is a constant during pregnancy and maintaining balance a prime concern, a stationary bike at home could well be the answer to the biking needs of an expectant mother. Sitting within the comforts and safety of home, biking for a few minutes could be a way to increase the heart rate without the usual hassles. Again a great way to stay fit and active during pregnancy but bear in mind that over exertion must be avoided as premature separation of the placenta, premature labor, or in the worst case, fetal death.
7. Healthy diet during pregnancy:
For a mom-to-be, a good diet is important both for her and for the baby’s health. Undoubtedly, what an expectant mother includes in her diet goes a long way in ensuring an active and safe pregnancy. As morning sickness or food repulsions can affect the diet of a pregnant woman, taking mineral and vitamin supplements also becomes important during pregnancy to stay active and fit.
6. Household chores:
Sitting idle and giving up on household chores during pregnancy should be avoided unless specifically advised by the doctor to do so. Of course, excess physical exertion has to be avoided but it is always good to follow the usual routine because that helps maintain the level of bodily activity. Avoid anything that has risk of falling or exerting pressure on the back, but the rest can be done without much worry.
5. Workouts or cardio training:
It is a good way to stay agile and active during pregnancy. But it must always be in the presence of an instructor and only up to the level that a pregnant body can sustain. Remember over exertion and breathlessness is to be avoided as that might cut the oxygen supply to the baby. So light and moderate workouts performed carefully are a great way to stay alert and fit during pregnancy.
Those who are used to jogging can continue with the routine during pregnancy; however, like all other exercises and routines during pregnancy, care should be taken to avoid over exertion and breathing difficulty. Limiting the distances and choosing a safe track is also necessary as is always being accompanied by someone in case of uneasiness due to the activity.
Women who usually swim regularly can actually continue with the routine as it is a good physical activity. Pregnancy comes with the added weight gain which often becomes a source of discomfort. Here’s where swimming during pregnancy comes to the rescue by helping the expectant women feel weightless for some time despite the extra kilos. It aids in circulation and overall helps you stay active; however, overexertion should be avoided.
Needless to say walking is a great cardiovascular exercise for anybody and more so for pregnant women. This can be continued for the entire duration of the pregnancy and helps in staying fit. This is a good activity for those that have always been active and even for those slightly on the lazier side. The only point to be noted is to not walk to the point of exhaustion or breathlessness. Walks to the local market, or just simple evening walks are a good way to start.
Having originated in ancient India, Yoga is a mild form of exercise which could actually be quite beneficial if performed during pregnancy. Of course, one must always consult an instructor to find out about the poses which are pregnancy-friendly and which are not. Practicing yoga during pregnancy can help in maintaining a balance of the body and mind. It also enhances the health if the expecting mother and child and thereby helps cope with pregnancy better.