Many women give up sports after a positive pregnancy test. The reason is simple – the fear of harming the baby. This decision is not quite right. Physical exercises will benefit if the pregnancy proceeds without complications, and the expectant mother feels fine.
An inactive lifestyle can cause obesity, depression, and even complicate childbirth. Physical activity helps prepare the body for the stress of childbirth and promotes rapid recovery after it. The best time to exercise is the end of the first – the beginning of the second trimester. The body has already been rebuilt to work in a new mode, and the size of the abdomen does not cause discomfort during exercise.
What are the benefits of exercise for pregnant women
Comprehensive preparation for childbirth involves moderate physical activity. Women who exercise regularly during pregnancy have easier births and recover faster after childbirth.
Moderate-intensity exercise has several benefits:
- Improve blood circulation, and heart function, and saturate organs with oxygen;
- Strengthen the musculoskeletal system and spine;
- Increase the endurance of the body;
- Keep muscles in good shape;
- Positively affect the psycho-emotional state of a woman;
- Contribute to the normalization of the respiratory system;
- Reduce the risk of developing diabetes and hypertension;
- Help maintain normal weight levels and reduce the risk of stretch marks.
There are special sets of exercises to strengthen the muscles involved in childbirth. Their regular implementation can reduce the risk of ruptures during childbirth.
How to choose a pregnancy workout plan?
When choosing the type of physical activity, it is necessary to take into account the physical fitness of a woman, the characteristics of the course of pregnancy, and the genetic predisposition to diseases and complications when carrying a baby. Women who did not play sports before pregnancy should not choose intensive training.
Simple exercises are a good place to start. It is best to consult with your doctor to determine the exact safe and beneficial form of physical activity. Every pregnancy is different, so it’s important to listen to your body and monitor how you feel. It is important to warn the coach about the pregnancy so that he can provide first aid.
It is important to take a break during classes and monitor the pulse. It should not exceed 130 beats per minute even with intense exercise. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid overheating. Body temperature should not rise by more than 1.5 degrees.
Exercises for the first trimester
You can do fitness and walk in the first trimester. Intensive exercises should be abandoned since at this time the implantation of the fetal egg occurs. You can perform exercises that do not put a lot of pressure on the uterus and fetus and do not lead to overheating. It is best to avoid exercises that cause dehydration or place excessive strain on muscles and joints.
The best type of physical activity for training the heart and body endurance during pregnancy. Walking helps maintain weight and does not harm the joints. Walking is beneficial at any stage of pregnancy. All you need is comfortable shoes and a desire. It is important to take care of comfortable and light clothing for walking that will not cause overheating. It is not recommended to walk a lot with the increased uterine tone, toxicosis, and preeclampsia.
Pilates classes help pregnant women improve flexibility, and give confidence and a good mood. A woman feels relaxed after class. A well-chosen set of exercises can help keep you fit and improve your well-being. Pilates is an excellent prevention of deformation of the pelvis and back. Pilates can help alleviate back pain caused by weight gain.
The plank is a great abdominal exercise during pregnancy. It will help to better support the weight of a growing baby. The main task of the plank is to maintain the correct position for the greatest amount of time. It is important to follow the exercise technology, otherwise, you can harm the spine.
Running is a great way to stay active during pregnancy. It is suitable for the first and second trimester. The center of gravity and balance change during pregnancy. This increases the risk of falling, especially when the woman is running on rough roads. It is better to choose a flat track for running and keep a slow pace.
Exercises on a cardio machine
Cardio exercises strengthen the muscles of the legs and have a positive effect on the circulatory system and respiratory organs. They are safer to use than traditional bicycles and there is less risk of falling and getting hurt. It is important to monitor your heart rate during exercise, keep a slow pace and drink enough fluids. The lesson should be stopped if you feel worse.
A set of exercises for the second trimester
In the second trimester, preference should be given to exercises that do not involve excessive pelvic mobility. Contact sports should be avoided during this period. Do not stretch because the bones and joints become brittle in preparation for childbirth. Pilates, water aerobics, and not-too-moving dances are suitable for the second trimester.
The ability to breathe properly is very important during natural childbirth. Breathing exercises should be included in the complex of exercises. Breathing exercises help to relax, improve the functioning of internal organs, and have a positive effect on the baby.
The main thing is to observe the execution technique and practice regularly. The ability to control inhalation and exhalation will greatly facilitate the process of childbirth.
The exercise strengthens the muscle groups of the lower body and back muscles. A simple but effective exercise. Excellent prevention of varicose veins and more. Exercise improves the functioning of the digestive organs. Do not exercise in a hot or humid environment. Make sure you wear comfortable clothing.
Exercise strengthens the legs, buttocks, and femur, and has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. Squats do not load the heart muscle and normalize its work, unlike other exercises. It is important to listen to your feelings when doing the exercise: if the exercise is very difficult to perform, you need to stop it.
Be sure to consult with your doctor before doing the exercise. It is important to agree on the allowable weight of dumbbells that a woman will lift. It is important to monitor your breathing while doing the exercise. Exercise is best done slowly. It is better to refuse if a woman experiences pain, fatigue, and discomfort.
Contraindications for sports during pregnancy
Pregnant women should refrain from extreme and contact sports. Cardio training should be carried out only with a trainer and strictly control the load. Active physical activity should be abandoned in the first three weeks of pregnancy.
Sports during pregnancy are not recommended for women with chronic pathologies – kidney failure, heart defects, after the threat of miscarriage, as well as for those who have placental abruption.
What exercises are suitable for the third trimester
It becomes difficult to perform exercises due to a large belly in the third trimester, but you should not completely abandon the sport. The main purpose of the exercises during this period is to prepare the body for childbirth. You can do exercises that will help develop individual muscle groups.
Some restrictions should be observed because intense training and fatigue increase the risk of preterm birth. You can train before childbirth if the woman feels fine.
There is an additional overload on the legs during pregnancy. Leg exercises can help you avoid varicose veins and cramps. You can go up and down on your toes, walk on your toes, heels. It is useful to make circular movements with the feet. Such exercises are especially necessary for those who spend a lot of time in a sitting position. It is useful to lift your legs in a prone position and hold it for a while.
Exercises that need to be performed lying on your back are not suitable for the third trimester. The abdomen is very large, it is more difficult to breathe, and heartburn torments. An alternative to the usual exercises is the sidebar. It develops flexibility, strengthens the spine, and normalizes metabolism. Do not forget about caution and strictly follow the recommendations of the doctor.
Fitball relaxes, unloads the spine, and relieves tension. Different types of exercises can be done with the help of a fitball: tilts, rolls, pelvic lifts while lying on your back, turns, abduction of legs to the side, and breathing exercises. You can lie on the fitball to relax your back. Simple fitball exercises can be performed even in late pregnancy if there are no contraindications.
A whole range of exercises for relaxation, proper breathing, and stretching. Yoga improves overall well-being and gives a charge of vivacity and a good mood. Childbirth requires careful preparation because it is stressful for the body. Yoga helps to prepare for this process physically and psychologically. Yoga strengthens the spine and joints, makes tissues more elastic, and improves blood circulation in the organs involved in childbirth.
Swimming is considered the safest sport for pregnant women. Water aerobics and swimming help keep the body in good shape, increase immunity, strengthen various muscle groups, and relieve tension. Pregnant women are advised to swim short distances. This applies to swimming both in indoor pools and in open water.
Frequency of exercise during pregnancy
The frequency of training during pregnancy is determined individually. It all depends on the health and well-being of the expectant mother. The best option is 3-4 times a week and the duration of classes is 45-60 minutes. The training program can be adjusted with increasing gestational age.
You can keep a training diary and show it to your doctor. This will help the woman to be confident in the correctness of her actions. You should not train if you feel unwell: toxicosis, pressure surges, or headaches. Better take care of yourself and rest. Do not forget that the purpose of the exercise is to improve well-being and the course of pregnancy.
What exercises to avoid during pregnancy
Pregnant women need to abandon training where there is a risk of falling and getting injured. It is best to avoid exercises where you need to lie on your back for a long time after the 16th week of pregnancy. Weakness and dizziness may occur in this position because the weight of the abdomen compresses the main blood vessels.
Do not perform exercises where you need to stand on your feet for a long time in the third trimester. This can lead to swelling. Avoid outdoor activities in cold weather or extreme heat. This will avoid overheating or hypothermia of the body of the expectant mother. It is necessary to immediately stop exercising and consult a doctor if the condition worsens!