Pregnancy exercises are vital as a woman’s body goes through many changes during the pregnancy period. It is advisable for a woman to exercise during this period of pregnancy to help adjust to the changes.
Exercises have numerous benefits for you while pregnant and the baby you are carrying.
There are safe exercises for each trimester and you should follow a well planned exercise program. Before you start the exercises consult your doctor to give you a go ahead. The doctor will also be able to give you suggestions on exercises suitable for you from your medical history.
Pregnancy exercises reduce back pains; constipation, increase blood and nutrients supply to the fetus, reduce stress on the back bone and relieve stress on muscles. They also help to increase endurance during pregnancy and labor. Exercises increase flexibility and strengthen muscles which make it easier for you to carry the extra weight during pregnancy.
Here are suggested pregnancy exercises you can do in the different trimesters.
1st Trimester Pregnancy Exercises
This is the most ideal time to start pregnancy exercises as you body goes through small changes. The aim of exercising at this stage is to get you sleep well, build stamina for days to come. The pregnancy exercises at this stage can be vigorous but not too strenuous. These are: –
· Brisk walking
At this stage you can walk for long distance as long as you do not exhaust yourself. This increases the utilization of oxygen in the body and improves supply of oxygen to the developing baby. Do not walk in hot and humid temperatures; this can result in a heat stroke, or overheating of the body and will cause harm to your baby.
· Aerobic exercises
These will increase the heart and breathing rate, and also strengthen muscles and burn calories.
This is exercise helps to reduce joint pains. Swimming will help you relieve weight from your joints giving temporary relief. Swim at least three times a week during this 1st trimester.
- Kegel Exercises
These strengthen and tone the pelvic muscles and prepare them for delivery and labor. Kegel exercises will also help get back in shape after delivery.
Yoga will help you calm your body and have peace during pregnancy.
- Relaxation techniques
These are helpful in reliving stress and tension by focusing on breathing. This will make you feel better.
During this trimester, the woman’s body starts to add weight rapidly. The uterus enlarges and there is a shift in the centre of gravity. This makes the body lose it’s balance. Pregnancy exercises will keep you full of energy and enhance sound sleeping. Be careful not to tire yourself, take breaks between exercises.
The exercises are: –
- Relaxation exercises and yoga
Continue to do yoga and with the relaxation exercises. Yoga will help in relieving back pains while the relaxation exercises will help improve your breathing by concentration and acquire the right body posture.
- Walking and swimming
Reduce your walking pace to a much slower pace and reduce the distance to what you are comfortable with. Do not over stretch yourself. As for swimming continue swimming gently and be safe. Remember never to go swimming alone.
- Weight Training Exercises
This weight training exercise should be performed in a seated position, to avoid dizziness and lightheartedness. This type of pregnancy exercises help tone and strengthen muscles.
3rd Trimester Pregnancy Exercises
When you enter in to the 3rd trimester, you will have to slow down on exercises and be cautious with movement and postures. Discontinue weight exercises and do not perform exercises that require you to lie on your back as this will strain your blood vessels.
You can continue walking. Walk short distances and at a much slower pace, take breaks every few minutes to catch your breathe. Let your body dictate how much walking it can take. Carry water with you and do not go for walks alone.
In this trimester, the daily activities will be your source of exercises. Do not do anything strenuous that will exhaust you. There are some daily activities that will be a challenge to you, do not give up, and do only what you are comfortable with.
The only thing exercises are good for in this trimester to have proper sleep at night.
Keep to a healthy diet and exercise though out the pregnancy to remain healthy and in shape after delivery. After engaging in your pregnancy exercises in your pregnancy period, there is no doubt you will have an easier time at childbirth and a beautiful and healthy baby as a reward.
Remember to wear comfortable clothes and shoes to avoid accidents as you do your daily dose of pregnancy exercises.