The Importance of Exercise During Pregnancy

Women benefit from exercise during pregnancy. It is known to help pregnant women feel better by relieving discomforts of pregnancy and preparing them for childbirth. It improves the posture therefore relieving backaches. It helps in relieving constipation, joint pain and sleep problems. It helps managing weight gain. Aside from these things, it also helps in building strong muscles, having high endurance and a fit heart essential for labor and delivery. Exercise also helps you in your breathing which is necessary for managing labor pains.

Before beginning exercise, the mom needs to consult the doctor first. Exercises are contraindicated in some states of pregnancy. Exercise is for the health but without proper knowledge and professional guidance, this activity may be detrimental to the health of both the mother and the fetus. If a pregnant woman is exercising, she needs to update the types of exercise she does and her body’s response to exercises to her doctor. Regular communication with one’s health provider is indispensable to attain optimum well being. It is advised to keep a heart rate of under 140 when one is exercising and to avoid over-heating especially during the first trimester.

The types of exercise recommended for pregnancy are:

Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises help women control the puboccocygeus muscles of the pelvic floor needed in labor and delivery. It is consist of contracting and relaxing the pelvic muscles. Women who perform this exercise find the delivery process less difficult than those who are not doing it. This exercise also helps in toning the pelvic muscles to prevent bladder leaks and hemorrhoids. Kegel exercise also helps in perineal healing, strengthening of the pelvic muscles, and recovering bladder control.

Walking
Walking is one of the simplest ways to exercise. It helps pregnant women increase their endurance and improve breathing. It is also an excellent way to get fresh air, tone muscles and promote good circulation. A pregnant woman can start walking 20 to 30 minutes, three times a day. One can gradually increase the time of walking 45 to 60 minutes. One should not over exercise to avoid exhaustion. Walking may be performed up to the last trimester of pregnancy as long as it is comfortable to the expectant mother.

Swimming
Professionals say that swimming is the safest exercise for pregnant mothers because this exercise does not cause weight bearing and stress to the joints. Swimming is a good way to improve circulation without experiencing overheating.

Aerobics
If a woman is performing aerobics prior to pregnancy, she may continue doing this exercise when she is pregnant. However, if a pregnant woman starts aerobics without prior experience, she may need to consult her doctor. Aerobics is a good form of cardiovascular exercise necessary for good circulation. Pregnant women with balance problems are not recommended to perform aerobics.

Yoga
Yoga helps in relieving stress and pressure on one’s body. Most positions of yoga are relatively safe for the mother and the child as long as the movements are not done rigorously.

There many be other types of exercises a pregnant woman can do such as bicycling, running and jogging. These and other types of exercises need to be consulted with the doctor. Some types of exercise may cause overheating. If a woman is not used in performing these exercises prior to pregnancy, she can experience fatigue and exhaustion which is not good for the maternal state. Consulting a doctor and having a pregnancy exercise plan will surely help pregnant women achieve the optimum benefits of exercise.

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