Pregnancy is a big event in every woman’s life. It is the time when a female body takes several changes and the girl turns into a woman. It’s the normal time troubling many questions and looking for answers for them.
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Fitness, physical health and pregnancy go hand in hand with right eating and leading a proper lifestyle. Physical fitness helps keep the heart, bones, and mind healthy. Healthy pregnant woman should remain active throughout the pregnancy.
Eating healthy foods is more important during pregnancy. This is the time when one needs more iron, calcium, and folic acid. Pregnant woman also needs more calories. It is said a pregnant woman must eat for two. This does not mean eating double the food. It means that the food eaten must be the one that is the main source of nutrients for the growing baby. The best recipe for a healthy pregnancy is a sensible, well balanced meal with regular fitness exercise.
If you had been exercising, you can continue with your fitness activity like running, swimming, weight training. Maintain a lower intensity keeping up with the changes happening in your body. If you are starting go slow and be consistent with your exercise routing. Brisk walking is an ideal way to start a fitness routine.
Dos during pregnancy
- Do exercise-Exercises safe during pregnancy it helps in easing the discomforts and in reducing the troubles during labor and delivery time. It is better to stick to low impact exercises such as walking, swimming and yoga.
- Avoid putting pressure on your core or back.
- Do more squatting, planks and try to posture that makes you work out standing and bending sideways. Pressure on your core harms your baby by restricting the blood flow to the baby.
- Stay cool by drinking plenty of water. Dehydration is dangerous for the fetus.
- It is better to wear loose clothing to avoid pressure on the rib cage.
- Do consult a doctor if you experience an incompetent cervix, bleeding or show at any semester or persistent bleeding in the later stage of pregnancy, premature labor or ruptured membranes.
- Also consult the doctor if there is persistent headache, dizziness, any water leakage from vagina, muscle weakness, uterine contraction abdominal pain or pressure on the pelvis.
- Learn to manage acute or sudden stress with ease.
- It is important to stay away from activities that may cause harm to baby and mother.
- Warm up – Warm ups prepare your muscles and joints for exercise and build your heart rate up slowly. If you skip the warm up and jump into strenuous activity before your body is ready. You might be strain your muscles and ligaments and experience increased post workout aches and pains.
- Exercise – Exercise moderately for at least 30 minutes during pregnancy. Stick with low impact exercises such as walking, yoga, and swimming. Stretch before and after exercise. Prenatal yoga is a great way to stay flexible and strong. It also builds your strength. You must focus on your back, shoulders, pectorals, and biceps so they’ll keep you strong enough to pick up and hold your baby in the womb. Daily exercising helps to prevent urinary incontinence. But make sure, repeatedly contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles as though you’re stopping and starting the flow of urine.
- Ball exercising – Try to work out ball exercising. You need a 55 – 75 centimeter stability ball, which depends on your height. Start this exercise during first trimester and do the exercises on as many days as possible. Our program should complement your regular strengthening and cardiovascular programs.
Dont’s During Pregnancy
- Don’t exercise in hot environment. Exercise should be done in the mornings or evenings or in an air-conditioned gym.
- Don’t lift heavy weights, lie on your stomach or back, or use machines that require wearing a belt around your waist.
- Avoid standing still for prolonged periods. It can decrease blood flow to your uterus and causes blood to pool in your legs, which results to make you dizzy.
- Don’t tackle high-impact sports or activities in which you risk falling or injuring your abdomen, such as in-line skating, soccer, downhill skiing and horseback riding.
- Don’t take any medicines without the consultation of the doctor or midwife.
- Avoid painkillers like aspirin, ibuprofen etc., without the prescription form the doctor.
- Don’t stop the intake of calories. It is recommended to consume an extra 300 to 500 calories a day.
- Don’t stop taking medicines related to chronic diseases like asthma and diabetes.
- Avoid smoking and taking of illicit drugs.
- Avoid baths in hot tubs and saunas. It will raise the temperature and effect the development of the fetal brain.
- Don’t use oil based paints and materials containing lead or mercury.
- Don’t exercise to the point of exhaustion. Carry on conversation while exercising.
- Don’t worry about weight gain. It will go down after the birth of the baby.
- Avoid unnecessary stress of changing house or changing jobs.
- Don’t worry about the delivery labor and pain. Face it in a natural manner.
- Avoid lying on your back – Avoid putting any pressure on your core and back at any point of time during pregnancy. Ditch the crunches, instead of doing more planks, squatting, and try postures that makes you work out by standing and bending sideways. Because the pressure on your core can restrict the blood flow to the growing baby and is harmful.
- Contact sports – Avoid sports and activities that will throw you off balance like horseback riding, downhill skiing, or mountain biking. Regular cycling is good in comfortable on a bike, but it’s probably best to stick to stationary or recumbent bikes later in pregnancy. The hormone relaxing level increases during pregnancy that helps in preparation for childbirth, relaxes pelvic joints, loosen joints and all ligaments, making more susceptible to sprains and injury from falls.
[ Hindi version ]