During pregnancy, you may find ‘exercising’, to be one of the very tiring and tedious jobs to do, but, the fact is that – exercising during pregnancy can bring you great benefits and returns. Ensure you consult with your doctor or the physician and make adjustments in your exercise routine before you draw up your exercise plan during pregnancy.
There is no denying the fact that exercising during pregnancy is a big advantage to both yourself and your baby in the womb. It helps you to feel better by relieving your backaches, stress, and anxiety. Exercise increases your blood circulation and gives your skin, a healthy glow, not only that, exercises strengthen your muscles and make your heart stronger, which you may find out to be very beneficial during your labor and delivery
During pregnancy; starting an exercise program, without consulting a doctor may turn out to be a very risky job, so it’s always suggested that you consult your doctor before you start your exercise program during pregnancy. While taking up exercise during pregnancy, some of the rules should always be kept in mind and be followed religiously:
At the beginnings of each session do approximately five to ten minutes of light aerobic activity-brisk walking, easy marching, or jogging.
Follow this with a 5 minute period where you perform the stretching sequence shown here to help prepare you for the workout. Take your time with these exercises. To cool down at the end of the session, run through the stretching sequence again.
- For each exercise, stretch slowly to the end of your range of motion and hold for 20-30 seconds.
- Most of these exercises involve stretching one side of the body at a time. Pause briefly after the stretch, and then repeat on the other side.
- Stretch until you feel a gentle tightness and hold at that point. Don’t bounce in an attempt to be able to stretch further.
- Breathe naturally and try to relax all your muscles as you do each stretch. Don’t hold your breath.
- Neck and Upper-Back Stretch: While standing, grasp hands together and reach the arms out in front at chest height.
- Shoulder/Chest Stretch: Stand facing the wall, placing your palm and forearm against it, then turn your body away from the wall until you feel a gentle stretch in your chest and shoulder. Maintain a small bend in your elbow
- Thigh Stretch: Holding onto the back of a chair for balance, bend one leg up behind you and grasp the ankle. Slowly move the leg back until you feel a gentle stretch. To increase the stretch you can push your hips gently forward.
- Hamstring Stretch: Using a chair for balance, place one leg in front with the heel on the floor. Keep your leg straight and bend forward from the waist until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your leg and buttocks. Remember not to bounce during this exercise.
- Calf Stretch: Using a chair or the wall for support, extend one leg out behind, keeping both feet flat on the floor with toes pointing forward.
- Iliotibial Band Stretch: In the standing position, cross your left leg in front of the right, then lean to the left side while sticking your right hip as far to the right as possible.
- Inner Thigh Stretch: In a sitting position, put the soles of your feet together. Placing your hands behind for support, lower your knees toward the floor.
- Gluteal Stretch: Lying on your back with one knee bent, the other crossed over with ankle against the knee/upper thigh, reach and pull your bent knee towards you. The position is like you are sitting in a chair with one leg crossed over the other.
You shouldn’t do any form of exercise that would harm either you or your baby such as horseback riding, aerobics, rock climbing, skiing, etc. You should always think first about the risks that such an exercise could pose to your baby, and if in doubt, consult your doctor first. There is no exercise program that is more important than the health and safety of your baby, for any reason. Listen to your body while you are exercising, if it starts giving you signs that it is time to slow down, and then you should do so. It is to stay fit and healthy during the 40 weeks of the week by week pregnancy and times thereafter.