The merits of exercise to the body and mind cannot be overemphasised. It is known to improve the health of your heart, your stamina, decrease fatigue and constipation, boost energy levels and mood, enhance sleep and improve muscle strength.
A well-chosen exercise program can and will have the same benefits during pregnancy. It is, however, important to converse with a health practitioner before embarking on any exercise routine at every stage of your pregnancy.
Some people argue about exercising during pregnancy. They claim it carries risks that may affect the baby. However, regular exercise during pregnancy will not only improve health but also reduce the risk of excess weight gain, back pain, and even make delivery easier. In fact, moderate exercise during pregnancy may give a newborn a healthier start.
While exercise is important when you are carrying a child, it is recommended to perform low-impact exercises, especially If you are not used to working out. Here are five exercises to keep you fit and healthy while carrying your bundle(s) of joy.
1. Aerobics dance classes
Low-impact aerobics dance workouts, such as Zumba, is a great way to increase your heart rate and get your endorphins flowing, especially if you are a newbie in exercising. Avoid jumping or high-impact movements and enjoy dancing. It is advisable to join a class of pregnant women and inform the instructor of your pregnant state.
2. Brisk walk
A brisk stroll around your street early in the day or in the evening is a good way to start if you are a beginner. This will provide a cardio workout without too much impact on the knees and ankles. A huge plus is that it can be done for free, almost anywhere, and at any time during pregnancy. Kit up in sturdy footwear and enjoy this simple workout alone or with a group of friends, family or even your partner.
3. Strength exercises
Strength training exercises are exercises that make your muscles stronger. They include working with weights, walking uphill and surprisingly, gardening. It is a good way to keep your muscles toned during pregnancy. Whether you are ridding your garden of stubborn weeds or carrying light weights, if you are a newbie, ensure you listen to your body when it needs a break.
Exercising in water gives a better range of motion, with the water creating resistance without putting pressure on the joints. In fact, the force produced by the water may offer some relief from the extra weight. While being mindful of the cleanliness of the water, note that aqua aerobics offer health benefits throughout pregnancy.
Yoga strengthens muscles, stimulates blood flow and increases relaxation. All these contribute to healthy blood pressure during pregnancy. Yoga also helps to keep the joints limber and help maintain flexibility. The techniques learnt in a yoga class can also help you to stay calm and in control during labour. Always consult a health professional before doing any yoga pose.