Staying healthy during pregnancy includes adequate rest, appropriate nutrition & exercise. The benefits of doing simple, yet effective exercise during pregnancy are enormous. It helps prevent pelvic and back pain, reduces the risk of gestational diabetes and hypertension, improves heart funtion, reduces constipation, bloating & swelling, ensures proper weight gain etc.
Consult your doctor before up any form of exercise and ensure the exercise program is properly regulated by a certified trainer.
Try out exercises based on what interests you and what your doctor recommends. Activities like prenatal yoga, swimming and walking 30 minutes a day can be good. To begin with, take a small 5 minute walk in the park & see how you feel. Gradually step-up to 30 minutes, taking into care that you don’t overexert.
Have you heard about Kegel Exercise?
Kegel exercises are specific exercises performed to strengthen a woman’s pelvic floor muscles.
By strengthening these muscles, one can develop the ability to relax and control the muscles in preparation for labor and birth. Consult your doctor to find out more.
Some dos and don’ts:
- Start slow. Do not overexert. Listen to your body.
- Wear lose and comfortable clothing.
- Don’t exercise till the point of exhaustion and breathlessness.
- Avoid exercising in hot and humid weather.
- Aggressive activities are a strict no-no. Avoid all activities which have risk of falling. Include relaxation and stretching before and after your exercise program. During the second and third trimesters, avoid exercise that involves lying flat on your back as this decreases blood flow to the uterus.
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Take frequent breaks. Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
- Monitor your levels of exercise during pregnancy. Stop exercising if you observe vaginal bleeding, headaches, breathlessness, uterine contractions, dizziness, increased fatique and fluid leaking from vagina. Get yourself checked by the doctor.
Sleeping Tips: It is a good idea to try to get into the habit of sleeping on your side, early in your pregnancy. Lying on your side with your knees slightly bent will be the most comfortable position you will be able to get into as you head into your third trimester.
Sleeping on your side has positive implications for your body: it makes your heart’s job easier to circulate blood. Some experts specifically recommend lying on your left side as this prevents your uterus putting pressure on your liver and allows for the best blood flow to the baby, uterus and kidneys.