Research shows that women who are pregnant are always encouraged to engage in some kind of physical training and exercise with some moderation. When women work out even while they’re pregnant, they lower the risk for a lot of potential diseases like headaches, depression, urinary incontinence, lower back pain, and many more. However, it’s still important to note that these training programs and exercises have to cater to her own personal needs.
If you are a pregnant woman and you still want to be engaging in some physical activity and exercise, then that’s good. You just have to make sure that you pace yourself. You never want to be overdoing it. You don’t want to be inadvertently causing any harm to yourself and your baby. You want to stay active, but you also want to be smart about it. You want to keep yourself safe. You have to be able to strike that balance. And this article is going to help you with exactly that.
Here are just some of a few exercises that all pregnant women should be able to perform regardless of her fitness level prior to the pregnancy. Always try to be living that fitter and healthier life for yourself.
1. The Butterfly Exercise
This is a relatively easy exercise that you can do on any solid surface. This exercise aims to promote mobility and range of motion in the hips – and that really helps in ensuring a safe and healthy delivery process. You just have to be able to sit on the floor in a lotus position. Maintain your naturally-arched back with your chest up and the soles of your feet planted against one another. And then, proceed to flap your legs as if they were butterfly wings. Perform for 15-20 reps while staying completely mindful of your breathing.
2. Cat-Cow Pose
The cat-cow pose is a dynamic stretch that is often incorporated into a lot of yoga flows and routines. It really aims to promote spine health. This dynamic stretch really elongates the spine to ensure flexibility, mobility, and range of motion. It also eases the tension in the back so it reduces the amount of discomfort that is experienced during the pregnancy. You start in a face-down position on your hands and knees. Your hips should be square with the floor and your shoulders are aligned with your knees. Begin the movement by arching your back and facing upward. And then proceed to curl downwards as you round your back while bringing your chin into your chest. Repeat for as much as 10-15 times with equal breathing during the reps.
3. Kegel Exercises
You also want a strong core if you are pregnant. You have to remember that your baby is growing in your womb. And you will want to recruit as much help from your muscles as possible to ease the discomfort you might be experiencing. That’s why it’s always advisable for you to be doing some Kegel exercises. In fact, Kegel exercises should even be done AFTER a pregnancy to help strengthen the core muscles that might be torn, broken, or weakened. Just clench your core muscles as you are in the bottom of a deep squat. And keep those muscles engaged for as long as you can. Repeat for around sets of 5-10 every day.
4. Standing Crunches
Who says you shouldn’t be working on your abs even when you’re pregnant? You always want to have a stronger abdomen. Why? Stronger abs mean you are able to push your baby out a lot easier. To strengthen those abs, you could try doing some standing crunches. To perform this exercise effectively and safely, you just need to stand in an upright position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands behind your head and remember to inhale as you lift yourself up and exhale as you go down. Before your initial breath, take a deep breath first. And with your hands behind your head, hinge at the hips and curl your body with the intention of kissing your belly button. Once you’ve reached the peak of your movement plane, inhale again and return to a standing position. The goal is to perform this exercise slowly and safely with smooth and efficient transitions. Perform 10-15 reps for 3-5 sets every day.
Swimming has plenty of benefits for overall physical health and wellness. For one, it helps improve your cardio by increasing your heart rate for an extended period. On top of that, it can help improve the blood flow and circulation within the human body. Not to mention that swimming is a fun activity and it’s always good for the soul. It’s perfectly safe for you to engage in swimming as an exercise so as long as you avoid very cold water.