What is Pregnancy Activity?
Engaging in physical activities improves general well-being through posture correction, blood regulation, bones improvement, muscle strength, and burning of fat. Staying physically active during pregnancy would help both the mother and the child stay healthy. However, physical activities during pregnancy should be done with caution and appropriately to prevent pregnancy complications. A couple of safe and healthy pregnancy exercises have been put together by experts to help pregnant women grow healthy and strong babies and to also help strengthen the woman herself.
Medical professionals advise that as much as physical activities are essential for the health of the mother and the child, medical advice should be sought before engaging in any, to prevent complications.
Why should you engage in physical activities? When should you begin the routine? What kind of physical activities are safe for me? Which ones should you avoid? When should you stop? If you are seeking the right answers to these questions, then you have come to the right blog.
To begin with, why are physical activities important for pregnant women specifically?
Importance of Physical Activities During Pregnancy
Engaging in physical activities helps reduce the risks of complications during pregnancy. The record holds that some pregnant women who engage in little or no physical activities have more tendency of going under the knife during childbirth than those pregnant women who engage in physical activities.
Quickens Recovery After Delivery
Pregnancy activities help keep women strong during labor and recover faster after the labor stress.
Physical activity is widely known as an effective natural anti-depressant. Since pregnant women are susceptible to anxiety and depression, physical activity is a popular natural remedy for getting rid of anxiety and depression stress.
Reduces Blood Pressure
High blood pressure frequently occurs in pregnant women, and to control and regulate blood pressure during pregnancy, one or two safe pregnancy activities routines should be adopted to reduce the risks of high blood pressure complications during pregnancy and labor.
Though extreme physical activities come with joint and muscle soreness. However, mild and simple pregnancy activities help relieve the pelvic and back pain associated with late pregnancy.
Pregnancy activities help pregnant women fight off the stress of thinking about labor. It combats both emotional and physical stress.
Catching sound sleep is usually a herculean task for most pregnant women on the one hand, while getting a convenient sleeping posture is another task on the other hand. Physical activities help pregnant women drift into sleep whenever they want; it also reduces the pains associated with striving to get a perfect sleeping posture.
Physical activities help encourage a healthy bowel movement, thereby reducing their risks of having constipation.
Reduces Unnecessary Weight Gain
Physical activities help combat fats that are in unwanted places, thus making the delivery process easier and smoother.
Physical Activities Shorten Labor
- It reduces the children’s risks of having diabetes.
- Provides a healthy birth weight
- Enhance body development
- Boosts and improves brain health and function
- Encourages a healthy heart development
As a pregnant woman, do not engage yourself in physical activities if you are experiencing the following;
- Miscarriage threats
- Placenta previa
- Previous still and premature births
- Weak cervix
- Safe Pregnancy Activities
Because physical activities are essential to the health, especially during pregnancy, do not conclude that doing strenuous and heavy ones would bring more benefits. The heavier the exercise, the higher the risk. A couple of safe pregnancy physical activities have been highlighted by experts, and they are;
- Mild aerobics
- Walking up and down the stairs carefully.
- Jogging in moderation
- Pelvic tilts
Some activities are special for easing labor and should be done only during the third trimester. These physical activities include;
This helps open up the pelvis in preparation for labor.
Stand with your feet apart and flat on the ground, keep your back straight, and squat gently.
Hold for about 20 seconds, and push up slowly, then stop afterward until the next day.
Pelvic tilts can help reduce back pain associated with the third trimester and can also strengthen abdominal muscles.
Begin with your hands and knees, slowly tilt your hips forward while pulling your abdomen in.
Hold on for some seconds and release. Repeat this about 5 to 10 times, depending on the convenience.
Kegel exercise, just like pelvic tilts, helps strengthen the abdominal muscles. Strong pelvic and abdominal muscles help you push during labor and reduces urine leakage risks after pregnancy.
What Should You Watch Out for When Engaging in Physical Activities
When you experience any of the following while engaging yourself in these physical activities, stop immediately and get in touch with your health care provider for a check-up.
- Chest pain
- Difficulty in walking
- Absence of fetal movement
- Vaginal bleeding
- Difficult breathing
- Calf swelling or pain
- Weak muscles that affect balance
Physical Activities That Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy
- Carrying heavyweight
- Hot yoga
- Horse riding
- Bike riding
- Physical activities that involve holding of breath
- Other ones that can cause abdominal upset
- Deep knee bend
- Both legs raise
- Strenuous activities over a long time
- Unfavorable weather condition
- Wear loose clothing and a perfect sports bra for support
- Use shoes that are comfy enough for your legs and your type of exercise
- Do not carry out activities on a sloppy surface to avoid falls. Ensure all your physical activities location are flat surfaces
- Eat balanced diet
- Begin activities one hour or more after you must have eaten. Do not begin few minutes after eating.
- Stay hydrated before, during, and after your physical activities.
- After doing bending and lying activities, stand up carefully to avoid falling.
- Do not ever try exercising yourself to the point of exhaustion.
- Avoid obstacles
- While swimming, hold the railings for support to avoid slipping and falling
- Do not jump or dive right into the pool.
- Avoid steam or hot tubs to avoid overheating.
- For cycling, get a bike with a higher handlebar for convenience and comfort.
- During mild yoga, do not engage in poses that would make you lose balance.
- Do not lie on your stomach during yoga or any other form of activity.
- Do not lie on your back for a long time during these sessions as it could put pressure on some veins, which could lead to fainting.
- If you must attend exercise classes for your pregnancy exercises, let your instructor know that you are pregnant to help them administer appropriate pregnancy activities.
- Start small
- Engage in mild ones like swimming, walking briskly, and yoga. There is actually no need to enroll in gym classes. Take walks to the grocery store, take walks to the next street; while you do so, ensure the weather is favorable enough for you.
- Get a partner
- To reduce boredom, make friends with a fellow pregnant woman who is interested and healthy enough for physical activities. Plan a daily activity routine with her, and enjoy your routine until you give birth before going back to your usual pre-pregnancy activities routine.
- Visit the clinic
- Visit the clinic regularly and speak to your doctor to ensure you are doing the right activities the right way and to make sure they are not in any way affecting you.
The general health benefits of activities cannot be overemphasized. Pregnancy is not a reason to avoid physical activities. This is why a number of mild exercises have been mapped out for pregnant women. These pregnancy exercises include; walking, yoga, swimming, and mild jogging. Though mild, they should be done with caution to avoid slipping and falling. Safety tips have been put together to ensure safe pregnancy activities for pregnant women.
Speaking to a health care provider is also important to engage in sessions of check-ups to ensure that the pregnant woman is fit for these activities. Strenuous activities like diving, high altitude exercises, soccer and basketball, bouncing, and skiing are not advisable for pregnant women.
Labor exercises have also been identified to help ease the pains of labor and contraction. These exercises include; pelvic tilts that help strengthen the abdominal muscles, Kegel activities that help reduce the risk of urine leakage after pregnancy, and squatting that helps open up the pelvis in preparation for labor.
In conclusion, getting productive results from pregnancy activities means including a balanced diet plan into your workout routine.