A bun in the oven doesn’t mean you should stop living your life. You should be extra cautious of course because there’s another life inside of you but it doesn’t mean you should completely get rid of them in your routine. Exercise falls under this category.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) says that only 40% of soon-to-be mothers exercise. There are many myths about working out while pregnant. Despite the science presented, some people still believe that it’s dangerous and risky for the baby and they judge mothers by working out just to lose weight for themselves. Studies and experts have repeatedly junked these myths and highly recommend exercise for pregnant women.
Contrary to the belief that working out while pregnant is a selfish move, staying active during pregnancy is healthy for both the mother and the child. It entails extra vigilance. She should listen to body signals that tell her to stop, especially if she’s already experiencing chest pains, abdominal pain, and in extreme cases, vaginal bleeding.
Upon hearing pregnancy news, moms can already exercise even during the first week. It’s recommended to exercise even though you weren’t actively working out before pregnancy. It has to be taken slowly until the body eases up to the physical activity and should not be pushed to the point of exhaustion. Please do note that if you are an expecting mom, medical conditions including asthma, heart disease, and Type 1 Diabetes are not advised to exercise.
Reasons to Exercise While Pregnant
Why exercise when pregnant? It’s great for your physical and mental health. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, 150 hours of weekly moderate exercise or 30 minutes a day for five days a week is recommended.
It offers a host of health benefits: improved blood circulation, relief from stress, reduced common discomforts like backaches, fewer chances of a cesarean birth, less risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy, easier labor and delivery, and post-pregnancy weight loss.
But because hormones could act up, pregnant moms would benefit from a supportive circle that motivates them to exercise and take care of their health.
Exercises Allowed for Pregnant Moms
Generally speaking, stationary cycling or indoor spinning is safe to do for a pregnant woman. You are attached to the bike’s pedals so that there won’t be any danger of falling down from the seat. Your weight is also supported by the bike. This is a great activity if you want some happy hormones or endorphins to drive the stress away.
Flexispot has a V9 Pro Home Office Height Adjustable Cycle Desk Bike. It features a supportive seat cushion and a height-adjustable seat. The pedals are extra comfortable and you may adjust the resistance level based on your skill at the moment. You may even use this while working on your desk job.
Stationary exercises are the way to go for pregnant women. Indoor rowing is also stationary. You won’t be putting pressure on your lower body that may hurt your ankles, knees, and hips because you’ll be seated the entire time. This is good if you want to enhance your arms and strengthen your upper body.
Standing Bicep Curls / Single Arm Rows
Once the baby is out, you would notice that you will benefit from having strong arms. Even newborns are heavy and will require arm strength for you to carry them. You need to be prepared by doing bicep curls or single-arm rows to strengthen your arm muscles. It’s recommended to do it while standing up because it will help improve your posture.
Another type of exercise that is highly recommended for pregnant women is non-aerobic. Yoga counts as one of these. It’s also easily accessible if you are unable to attend class. You may watch yoga videos online or use an exercise app with easy, beginner stretches to follow. A word of caution is to avoid yoga positions that make you lie flat on your back. Be careful with overextending your legs or any body part.
Cardiovascular activities such as swimming is also a recommended exercise during pregnancy. The body becomes weightless when you’re underwater so it’s safe for pregnant moms. You don’t have to worry about a high-impact injury while swimming. It will also improve your blood circulation and strengthen your core. Your buoyancy underwater will also provide relief for your lower back after you’ve been carrying a baby for months. It will take the weight of the baby bump from you, even for just a while.
You need your pelvic floor muscles during childbirth and Kegel exercises could help prepare them for the duty. Regular exercise of this will strengthen the muscles in the pelvic and vaginal areas. Some examples of Kegel exercises include Glute Bridges and the Butterfly Pelvic Tilt.
How to Ensure Safety During a Workout Session
1. Before even thinking about exercising, check with your doctor first. You have to receive clearance from an expert so that you can exercise while you’re pregnant. They will take into consideration your pre-pregnancy health conditions such as a heart disease.
2. Drink lots of water before, during, and after a sweaty workout session.
3. Wearing tight clothes is a no-no. Don’t forget to provide proper support for your bust with a fitting sports bra or a belly band to protect your bump.
4. Do not exercise in extremely hot temperatures.
5. Do not exercise up to the point of exhaustion.
6. Eat the right amount of food calories a day that meets the nutrition requirements of your pregnancy and workout routine.
7. Do not exercise right after eating. Wait for at least an hour before starting to exercise.
8. Feeling dizzy is your body telling you to stop.
9. Listen to your body and its warning signs. Stop exercising when you feel chest pain, abdominal pain, pelvic pain, headache, vaginal bleeding, shortness of breath, and ankle swelling.
It’s not at all selfish to work out while you’re pregnant. Taking care of yourself also means that you are taking care of the baby growing inside of you! Be healthy mama and we wish you a safe delivery.