Being pregnant can be one of the most enjoyable experiences in the life of a woman. This life altering journey of pregnancy requires you as the mother to eat right, go for regular check ups and equally as important, exercise!
Why is exercise important when you are pregnant?
- Exercise also enables you to feel and sleep better
- Promotes muscle strength and endurance
- Increases your strength
- Reduces back pain
- Makes it easier to get back in shape after your baby is born.
You should however stop and contact your doctor immediately if you have the following signs:
- Decreased fetal movement
- Vaginal bleeding
- Uterine contractions
- Amniotic fluid leakage
- Chest pain
- Increased heartbeat rate if you can’t recover
Here are 5 safe exercises for a pregnant woman.
Supine position exercises
For this set of exercises, you will be lying down on your back with your head facing up. This is what is referred to as the supine position. The aim is to contract your pelvic floor.
Tighten your pelvic floor muscles by drawing them up then hold for 2 seconds and release. Do this 10 times.
Squeeze the muscles of your buttocks together, hold for 5 seconds then relax. Repeat this 10 times
Bend your knees and tighten your stomach. Make sure that you only have one pillow under your head and that your bed is flat. Pull your belly button towards your spine as you squeeze your buttocks and lift your hips up towards the ceiling. Slowly lower your hips and repeat 10 times.
Slide one heel towards your buttocks as you bend your knee then straighten. Do this 10 times on each leg.
While lying on your back on your bed, tie the resistance band around your knees. Perform kegel exercises as you pull one knee outwards with your back firmly on the bed.
Full squat position
Place your legs wide apart with your feet placed wider than your shoulders and come down to a squat position. This exercise is great for women who are in their third trimester since it creates more room in the uterus for fetal development on week 25. Try to stay in this position for a few minutes. You can even go through your mail or read a magazine while you’re in this position. The position allows your pelvis to open with gravity. This tones your pelvic floor muscles because your pelvic floor is able to contract.
Start with low intensity if you haven’t worked out before. Start with a brisk walk on the treadmill to get your heart beat rate up. The elliptical machine is also great especially if you have issues with ankles and joints. Pump up your hands to get your heart beat going.
If you have issues with your back during exercise, swimming is the perfect exercise for you because it’s not a weight bearing exercise. It will also keep you cool.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, put your hands behind your head and tuck your pelvis slightly. Squeeze your abdominals as you crunch forward and extend back up.
Ensure that you take a 40-60 seconds break between each exercise. Also get the go-ahead first from your doctor because some pregnancies can be high risk. If you are in your third trimester, take it slow and perform low-impact activities like stretches and swimming. Brisk walking is also a good workout choice because it’s low impact and still gives you a full body workout while improving cardiovascular fitness.