- 1 Why exercise during pregnancy?
- 2 Benefits and exercises
Gymnastics in pregnancy
Exercising during pregnancy is an activity that is gaining more and more popularity within the routine of expectant mothers.
Physical activity during pregnancy is beneficial for both the health of the mother and the baby.
Scientific evidence supports that exercise during pregnancy helps tone muscles, improve blood circulation and breathing, thus ensuring a better supply of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus.
But it is good to remember that during pregnancy, a woman cannot do everything she used to and scale back on the amount of exercise she does, even if she was already practicing a sport.
Abrupt movements or excessive exertion must be avoided as it could lead to complications or risks for the baby.
Therefore, it is essential to act consciously, choosing the correct exercises during pregnancy depending on the trimester and the mother’s physical capabilities.
What should be taken into consideration when training during pregnancy?
It is undeniable to point out how a woman’s body changes during pregnancy.
Her posture alters, she gains weight, and there is a change in the center of gravity. Habits also change during pregnancy, and she needs to pay attention to the condition of her body, especially when exercising. For example, the heart rate must remain below 140 beats, and the duration of exercises cannot exceed 15 minutes to prevent extreme exertion for the baby.
From the fourth month, floor exercises are absolutely prohibited.
Before deciding to do physical activity during pregnancy, it is a good idea to get advice from your doctor or contact professionals in the field who can explain the best exercises to perform during pregnancy.
In most cases, it is still good to choose moderate-load exercises, with activities like exercise bikes or pregnancy water gymnastics, especially in the first 28 days of pregnancy.
Sports nutrition should always be kept adequate, despite nausea intervening to stave off hunger; drinking plenty of water helps avoid dehydration following an exercise session.
What are the benefits of exercising during pregnancy?
Exercising during pregnancy brings numerous benefits not only to the mother but also to the baby!
In particular, through physical activity, the levels of chemicals called beta-endorphins in the mother’s blood increase, which will be very important in reducing the perception of pain and stress during delivery.
In addition, maintaining an exercise routine during pregnancy promotes blood circulation, preventing swelling and heaviness in the legs, and helps control weight gain. The muscles along the spine get stronger and help support the baby bump’s weight, preventing any loss of balance or strain.
What are the best exercises to do during a pregnancy?
Some of the best exercises are those dedicated to abdominals and stretches of the lower back to reduce excessive curvature of the lower back.
Training that includes movement of the arms to the side or above the head helps expand the rib cage, thus facilitating breathing- a crucial aid during childbirth.
In any case, all activity should be done slowly and in a controlled way to avoid excessive exertion or gym machines. Walking, stretching, yoga, and swimming are some of the sports that best help to improve the health of the baby and the mother since they encourage breathing and muscle relaxation, a great way to reduce pain. Why are these exercises so important?
Because they help to strengthen the abdominal wall, particularly the transverse muscle of the abdomen that supports the spine, they strengthen and extend the diaphragm and stretch the pelvic floor through exercises in a sitting or four-legged position.
In most cases, it is best to avoid exercises that require balance or high-intensity physical activities that might increase the heart rate, thereby restricting blood flow to the uterus and placenta.
However, not all physical activity can be done to one’s liking during pregnancy. Here are some exercises that can be done during the different moments of pregnancy.
–First-trimester pregnancy exercise: usually, no exercise should be done during this first period except for some walking and light swimming. The first trimester is very delicate as the woman is prone to exhaustion, nausea, and vomiting.
Therefore, it is good to maintain light exercise, helping her stay hydrated at all times. Keeping the legs and buttocks exercised is possible with small squats.
–Gymnastics during the second trimester: from this time on, you can start a series of useful exercises to support this period of pregnancy. All exercises on the major muscle groups are doable, except for abdominals. Start working on the center of gravity, which begins to be unbalanced due to the weight of the belly.
Yoga and Pilates can help with exercises in a lateral position to tone the arms, legs, and buttocks muscles.
–Gymnastics during the third trimester: at this point, it is advisable to reduce the intensity of exercises, focusing on pelvic floor care and relaxation, as fatigue is felt more: the abdomen is increasingly prominent and can obstruct general movements.
During this period, it is advisable to do some swimming, yoga, Pilates and engage in long walking sessions. Exercises are mostly muscle-strengthening, and it is advisable to perform them while maintaining a lateral position or, if it does not cause discomfort, on all fours with hands and knees resting on the ground.