Carrying and giving birth to a baby requires you to stay healthy. That’s why maintaining a moderately active lifestyle throughout your pregnancy is recommended. Not only will doing sport help you to stay fit, it will also improve your sleep and make you feel better. It can also reduce back pain and stress and may even prevent gestational diabetes. Finally, exercising will help you to prepare for labor and delivery by making your muscles stronger!
Before you put on your jogging trousers (to do sport, not to be a couch potato) it’s worth paying a little visit to your healthcare provider, even if you already practice sport regularly. Being pregnant means that you have to be extra careful. You need to be sure that you’re not going to hurt yourself or your baby. If you experience any pain, dizziness, vaginal bleeding or discomfort during your physical activity, you should stop straight away.
Safe pregnancy exercises such as walking or swimming for roughly 20-30 minutes every day are recommended for woman with uncomplicated pregnancies. You will benefit more from your efforts by combining different exercises. On the contrary, avoid sports such as rugby, soccer, horseback riding, skating, skiing, water skiing, surfing, mountain biking, gymnastics or scuba diving, all of which could harm you or your baby.
Yoga is a fantastic way to improve your flexibility, reduce stress and limit strain on the joints. You’ll find different kinds of yoga, most of which are perfectly safe for pregnant women. There are also yoga exercises dedicated to expectant mothers. An additional advantage of this activity is that it can be practiced at home. However, if you’re a beginner, it’s best to join a class in order to avoid any risk of inadvertently doing yourself harm.
Swimming is one of the safest sport for women who are going to have a baby. It’s often the first physical activity health providers suggest. This cardiovascular exercise helps your body get toned, strengthens your muscles, improves your heart rate and reduces nausea of the first trimester. Being in the water is also excellent for soothing any pains or swelling. You’ll feel sprightly and free in the pool!
Walking is another safe exercise for moms-to-be as it doesn’t put too much pressure or weight on your knees and ankles. On your own, with the father of your baby or with friends, it’s easy to practice and there’s the added bonus of spending a nice moment together. Walking is the perfect activity for those who are not used to exercising regularly. Don’t forget to stretch before you go and make sure to put on your best trainers!
If it’s important to you that a physical activity should also be fun, dancing is a great solution. Belly dancing, samba, jazz dances and salsa, amongst others, are all ideal for strengthening your heart and keeping you flexible. In the comfort of your own living room or in a dance class, move your body to the sound of your favorite songs. Keep it safe and gentle though, as certain movements such as spinning, twirling, lifting, jumping or leaping could be dangerous for your health, as well as that of your baby.
Cycling during pregnancy is great for expectant mothers, as the exercise gets your heart pumping and tones your muscles. Stable stationary bikes also support your weight, which limits the pressure on the body. To avoid any risks, never push yourself too hard and always start at a slow pace.
Pick a good pair of shoes, pull on your jogging trousers and let’s go! Running is excellent for your heart and for building endurance, something you’ll definitely need during labor and delivery! However, if you’re not used to running, be extra cautious and consult your health provider first. Start slowly, keep yourself well hydrated and don’t forget to stretch before exercising.
Another excellent way to prepare for labor and delivery is to practice Kegel exercises. These pelvic floor exercises are great for strengthening and toning the muscles needed during childbirth. Furthermore, this activity helps limit bladder leaks and hemorrhoids, two problems frequently experienced by pregnant women. Kegel can be performed anywhere without anybody even knowing that you’re doing it.
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