Know why exercises can be helpful during each trimester? Exercising helps in the growth of the baby too, so don't hesitate to exercise and lead a healthy life. Remember not to force yourself to exercise though. If you end up feeling nauseated due to morning sickness then avoid exercising that time and do it in the evening instead. But do not give excuses to yourself for not doing any exercise during your pregnancy as it has equal or even more importance than medicines.
We spoke to Dr. Madhuri Burande Laha, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospital to know more about exercising during pregnancy and here's what she had to say:
If one is exercising before pregnancy, its the best and they can continue doing the same with some modifications like less intensity and less reps (even weight training exercises, under supervision). If one has never exercised and wants to start doing when they get pregnant, they will need proper guidance by a pregnancy specialist physiotherapist who generally takes ANC classes (prenatal trainer) and can guide on precautions and how to start and proceed.
Exercising is a very important part of pregnancy care and management to help the mother and child be healthy. That being said, there is a risk of miscarriage, chances of bleeding and abortion during the first 3 months. As the pregnant mother is still getting in the feel of being pregnant as the pregnancy is still establishing. Many women are unaware of what to eat, how to exercise, what the safe exercises are during each trimester, how to stay stress-free throughout the nine months. But it is not recommended to avoid or stop exercising. Pregnant women can continue exercising with certain modifications and precautions.
Dr. Madhuri highly recommends the following exercises for women during their pregnancy:
Walking can do the trick as it will allow you to stay in shape, enhance blood circulation and digestion to stay fit. Infact, it should be encouraged in all three trimesters.
You can opt for Yoga or Surya Namaskar with certain modifications. For example, in Surya Namaskar, instead of going down and touching the feet, just bend the knees and go down as that way, there will be no pressure on the back. It can be termed as pregnancy-safe or pregnancy-modified Surya Namaskar. Say no to stretches and poses that can increase the back pain or pressurise the core muscles.
Pilates will help you become flexible and stretch the overall body that is important during all three trimesters as the posture changes, stiffness, weight increases and there is hormonal imbalance too. It will prepare you for the labor and birth of the child.
Swimming won't pressurise the abdomen and can be done throughout pregnancy. make sure that the water in the pool is clean and hygienic. If you encounter any skin problems such as rashes or itchiness due to the pool water then immediately consult a doctor.
5. Breathing Exercises
Opt for Anulom Vilom Pranayama to fight breathlessness and rib pain during the first trimester, and avoid Kapalabhati.
All these exercises can be done 3-5 times a week and 30 minutes of everyday workout will help you to stay active and fit throughout the pregnancy and achieve a maximum heart rate that is 90%. To simply put it, exercising is safe during pregnancy if you are able to talk while exercising. Learn to differentiate between exercise and exertion as there are over-enthusiastic mothers who end up doing a lot of cardio and high-impact exercises like jumping and twisting.
Go for low-impact aerobics wherein one foot will always be on the ground. Core exercises can be opted for during the second trimester and need to be strictly done under supervision. Again, if one has never exercised before but wishes to start doing so while they're pregnant, they should work out under the guidance of a fitness expert. The prenatal trainer will suggest modifications and precautions to be taken while exercising. Thus, the exercises will be safe and comfortable for you.