Growing evidence shows that physical exercise during pregnancy has benefits for both the mother and fetus during the gestation period, according to a 2016 study by East Carolina University. Exercise helps ease some common discomforts women experience during pregnancy and prepares their bodies for labor and delivery. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests that pregnant women should aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. However, not all types of exercises are good for expectant mothers. They need to consult their health practitioners first to know the different types of workouts that they can safely do.
Swimming and Water Aerobics
Swimming is a great form of exercise for pregnant women. It gives them a better range of motion without putting pressure on their joints. It is a safe exercise for the mother and baby since there’s zero chance of falling while swimming. Swimming also has the perfect level of intensity to regulate blood glucose levels naturally for expectant mothers. This plays a key role in preventing or curing hypoglycemic conditions, like gestational diabetes, which are more common to arise during pregnancy. For the best results, pregnant mothers should choose a stroke that’s comfortable, and doesn’t hurt the neck, shoulders, or back muscles. They also need to be careful not to dive in, as it can cause too much abdominal impact.
Taking Regular Walks
Even for pregnant women who don’t normally work out, a quick walk around the neighborhood every day can have lasting benefits throughout the pregnancy. Walking provides a low-intensity cardiovascular workout without causing too much strain on the knees and ankles. The best part is that you don’t need any equipment or a gym membership to take walks; in fact, it’s one of the few workouts that you can do even on the delivery day.
Related: Can You Really Lose Weight Walking?
Prenatal Yoga Classes
Yoga is a relaxing and easy exercise that keeps joints limber and helps pregnant women maintain flexibility. It also strengthens muscles, stimulates circulation, and helps women relax, all of which come in handy during labor. However, with so many styles of yoga, pregnant women should look for classes specifically tailored to them. This usually means avoiding deep backbend positions, full inversions like headstands, or those that really challenge their balance.
Wrapping it up
Regular exercise during pregnancy not only plays a key role in the health of the mother but also helps her mood. However, since there are risks involved, pregnant women must be careful when choosing the types of exercise. If you are pregnant and you don’t know what types of exercise are okay for you, always confirm with your doctor before trying any of them.
Meet the author…
Jane Sandwood is a professional freelance writer and content manager with over 10 years’ experience across many fields. Her interests are mostly related to fitness and nutrition. Click here for more articles by Jane Sandwood.
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