Change #: Avoid Exercises That Involve Lying Flat On Your Back
This recommendation only applies to women who are further along in pregnancy. And to be honest, its a bit of a controversial one
Let me explain.
When your uterus starts to take up more space in your abdomen, it means that the other abdominal contents need to shift to make space. This can cause pressure on different organs, which in turn can cause different symptoms like constipation or reflux.
Other things that get more pressure on them are the important blood vessels that bring blood back up to the heart. When your uterus gets heavier, and you lie flat on your back, more pressure than usual is put onto these blood vessels. For this reason, it is advised not to spend an extended amount of time lying flat in your back in the second half of pregnancy.
There are quite a few types of exercise that involve lying flat on your back, and could cause a decrease in blood flow to the baby for example, abs exercises like bicycle, arms exercises like bench press and leg exercises like bridging.
In some women, these exercises can cause them to feel symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness or a general icky feeling.
In other women, they can do these exercises, or rest lying on their back, with no symptoms at all, even late in pregnancy.
The controversy is about whether it should only be women who are symptomatic who avoid exercising on their back, and how many weeks pregnant does this start to be an issue .
In a nutshell, here is my opinion based on the research
Change #: Avoid Overheating
During pregnancy, it is advised to avoid overheating for the health of the baby, especially in the first trimester, and this is often discussed in relation to exercise.
Core temperature increases of more than 1.5 degrees in the mother have been shown to have the potential to cause neural tube defects in early pregnancy, and therefore it is recommended to consider the following:
- Always exercise in spaces that are well ventilated
- Avoid exercise in pools hotter than 33 degrees
- Avoid bikram yoga or other exercise where the room is deliberately heated
- Avoid saunas
This guideline is also a slightly controversial one however because research has not shown that exercise, even at a very high intensity, can raise core temperature by 1.5 degrees. The only thing that is likely to do that is being immersed in very hot scenarios for long periods of time like a sauna.
Personally, I would still recommend avoiding Bikram yoga and high intensity exercise in a confined space after you find out youre pregnant. But I wouldnt be too concerned about getting a bit hot a sweaty in a park workout or a PT session during pregnancy as long as its moderate intensity exercise its very unlikely to be raising your core temperature to dangerous levels.
Pelvic Floor Exercises And Pregnancy
Your pelvic floor muscles are weakened during pregnancy and during birth , so it is extremely important to begin conditioning the pelvic floor muscles from the start of your pregnancy. Appropriate exercises can be prescribed by a physiotherapist. It is important to continue with these throughout your pregnancy and resume as soon as is comfortable after the birth.
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Exercising During The First Trimester Not Only Reduces Stress But It Also Provides A Good Sleep With Minimal Backpain And More Energy In This Video Wellness And Fitness Coach Anubha Raman Will Explain Some Of The Best Easy And Safest Workout For Pregnant Women
Safe Prenatal Exercises : Pregnancy requires physical activities as much as it comfort and rest. According to experts, it is considered important to stay physically active and keep moving the body as it keep both the mother and the baby in a healthy shape. Exercising during the first trimester not only reduces stress but it also provides a good sleep with minimal backpain and more energy. In this video, wellness and fitness coach Anubha Raman, will explain some of the best, easy and safest workout for pregnant women that they can follow during their early stage of pregnancy. Watch video.Also Read – EXCLUSIVE: Actor Karan Tacker Opens Up On His Fitness, Diet And Workout Regime | Watch Video
Exercises That Are Safe For Pregnancy
Exercise is a great way to boost feel-good endorphins throughout your pregnancy, maintain general fitness and even help ease labor and quicken recovery. Not to mention — keeping a healthy body during pregnancy has been shown to help babys future health!
Its recommended that you are active or exercise 30 to 20 minutes most days during pregnancy to increase your energy, reduce backaches, and improve your strength and endurance. Exercising during pregnancy will also make it easier to get back in shape after your baby is born.
Join Cheryl Mashack, one of our exercise physiologists, as she walks through several pregnancy exercises which are safe for you and your baby.
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Guidelines For Choosing An Exercise During Pregnancy
If you participated in a regular exercise activity prior to becoming pregnant, it is probably fine to continue to participate during your pregnancy. There are many exercises that are safe to do during your pregnancy, but it is important not to overdo it and to use caution.Many people were uneasy when they discovered that Olympic volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings had received the OK from her obstetrician to play competitive volleyball while pregnant. The American Pregnancy Association would have cautioned against this because of the vulnerability of impact with another player, the ground, or parts of the surrounding court area. However, it is important to highlight a key truth in the counsel her healthcare provider gave.
Your baby is surrounded by fluid in the amniotic sac, which is nestled inside the uterus, which is surrounded by the organs, muscles and your physical body. This actually creates a rather safe environment for your developing baby. However, even with this protection, it is recommended you avoid high-impact exercise.
You will probably want to avoid these types of exercises during pregnancy:
You may want to include these basic guidelines in planning exercise during pregnancy:
Please see this article for more information on exercise guidelines.
Pregnancy Exercises In The First Trimester
Here are the safe exercises and workouts for the first trimester!
- Jogging or RunningAt the beginning of your pregnancy, theres no baby bump throwing you off balance so jogging can be a great way to inject physical activity into your routine. If youre a runner, you may have to reduce the mileage and speed you usually go for.
- Low-intensity to moderate weightliftingAs long as you do it the correct way, theres no reason to be afraid of weight lifting or resistance training. Some studies have actually highlighted that those who lifted weights have a lower chance of cesarean delivery and preterm labour, and shorter active labours. During the first trimester, you can go for moves that target areas such as your back, shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps, quads, glutes, calves, and core. While being in the first trimester leaves you with more leeway in terms of the specific weightlifting exercises you can do, moving into the second and third trimesters mean that there are certain moves to be avoided. These may include core exercises, moves that require you to lay on your back for long periods.
- DancingDoes dancing count as exercise? It sure does! Through dancing, mums can find relief from pregnancy symptoms, improve their stamina, and shorten their postpartum recovery period. Of course, avoid routines that include jumping, leaping or twirling.
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Spin Classes Or Cycling With A Stationary Bike
Off-road cycling, such as mountain biking, is not a good option for pregnant people due to the risk of falling and injury.
Stationary bikes, spin classes, and safe, flat cycling paths are all alternatives with significantly fewer risks.
People who are new to the stationary bike could try cycling for 1015 minutes at a time. They could then extend their sessions to 3060 minutes, if comfortable.
If a person is used to spinning or using a stationary bike, they can often maintain their regular routine during the first trimester.
Pregnant people should aim to do low impact, moderate intensity exercises that lead to light sweating and slight increases in heart rate.
Some tips for exercising safely during the first trimester include the following:
- Stay hydrated.
- Stay cool, and wear loose-fitting clothing.
- Wear well-fitting, supportive, non-slip shoes.
- Recognize when to exercise less often or reduce the intensity.
- Set realistic goals and try to stick to them.
- Remember to breathe and be aware of heart rate during workouts.
Whenever a person feels tired or weak, it is important for them to stop and rest.
To prevent complications, pregnant people should avoid:
How To Lose Weight After Pregnancy
If youre like most new moms, you cant wait to get rid of your maternity clothes and put on your old jeans. The best and easy ways of how to lose weight after pregnancy that will last a lifetime, are given below.
- Think about your eating habits.
- Make physical activity a part of your daily routine.
- If possible, breastfeed your child.
- Keep track of your calorie intake.
- Consume fiber-rich foods.
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Safe Exercise In Pregnancy The Top 4 Changes To Make
We are often asked what is safe exercise in pregnancy? There is no question research has consistently shown that keeping fit and active during pregnancy is terrific for both the mother and the unborn baby.
However, many exercises require modifications to be considered safe during pregnancy.
And whats important to know is that there is a difference between something that is unsafe in pregnancy versus something that may be in the category of weigh up the pros and cons .
You know what? Almost all types of exercise are actually safe in pregnancy. For uncomplicated pregnancies, for the most part we dont need to wrap ourselves in cotton wool, and keeping up regular exercise has been shown to have HUGE benefits for both mother and baby.
If we take scuba diving and other pressure related exercise out of the equation, there are actually only 4 main types of exercise that fall into the category of unsafe in pregnancy. And some of these are a bit controversial
In the blog that follows, Im going to explain to you what the four potentially unsafe types of exercises are during pregnancy, are and the changes that you can make to keep exercising safely.
Body Changes That Affect Exercise During Pregnancy
There are many changes happening in your body during pregnancy. First, joints are more flexible from the hormones which cause certain muscles to relax during pregnancy. Your center of gravity or equilibrium is shifted from the extra weight in the front, as well as, your shifting hips.
This can affect your balance as you near your due date. The extra weight will also cause your body to work harder than before you were pregnant.
All of these factors may affect how you exercise and what exercises you choose to do. Remember, it is always recommended you consult your healthcare provider about exercises for your specific situation.
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Avoid Doing Exercises On Your Back
Exercising on your back puts pressure on a large vein that returns blood to the heart from your growing uterus. If youre doing anything on your back, uphold yourself up with pillows or using a prenatal wedge. Its also a good idea to avoid exercises that require you to lie on your stomach, as well as uncontrolled torso twisting motions. Exercises in the side-lying position, such as side-lying lower body pilates work and side-lying savasana, can be tried. Side-lying is also beneficial for comfort because it keeps blood flowing toward the baby.
I Only Need To Do Kegels And Ill Be Good Right
At Perfect Motion Sports Therapy, our clients often ask us if they need to do more than pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy. You should strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with Kegels and breathing exercises. However, incorporating additional prenatal-safe routines throughout your pregnancy is essential.
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Dont Hold Your Breath
While completing resistance training, avoid holding your breath. Its recommended that you exhale when your muscles are contracting and inhale when they are relaxing. For example: when squatting when you lower down into the squat, inhale. When you stand up, exhale.
Just remember, the most important thing is to breathe so just go with whatever breath sequence works best for you!
Avoid Exercising In High
Pregnant women should avoid exercising in high heat and humidity to protect against heat stress, especially during the first trimester. Its also critical to stay hydrated during exercise and throughout the day, and to exercise in a temperature-controlled environment if possible. Hot yoga during pregnancy and similar activities should be avoided.
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Why Is It Important To Exercise During Pregnancy
It is important to exercise during pregnancy for many reasons. In particular, moderate exercise during all stages and weeks of pregnancy is extremely beneficial for both you and your growing baby.
Besides the fact that exercise makes you feel good there are also a number of physiological reasons why working out is worthwhile.
During Pregnancy, Regular Exercise Can:
1. Help prevent pregnancy-related constipation.
2. Release endorphins to improve your mood.
3. Help you maintain your pre-pregnancy fitness levels.
4. Help you maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.
5. Help improve sleep quality.
6. Help build strengthen your core muscles.
Why Is Physical Activity During Pregnancy Good For You
For healthy pregnant women, regular exercise can:
- Keep your mind and body healthy. Physical activity can help you feel good and give you extra energy. It also makes your heart, lungs and blood vessels strong and helps you stay fit.
- Help you gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy.
- Ease some common discomforts of pregnancy, such as constipation, back pain and swelling in your legs, ankles and feet.
- Help you manage stress and sleep better. Stress is worry, strain or pressure that you feel in response to things that happen in your life.
- Help reduce your risk of pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that can happen during pregnancy. It happens when your body has too much sugar in the blood. Preeclampsia is a type of high blood pressure some women get after the 20th week of pregnancy or after giving birth. These conditions can increase your risk of having complications during pregnancy, such as premature birth .
- Help reduce your risk of having a cesarean birth . Cesarean birth is surgery in which your baby is born through a cut that your doctor makes in your belly and uterus.
- Prepare your body for labor and birth. Activities such as prenatal yoga and Pilates can help you practice breathing, meditation and other calming methods that may help you manage labor pain. Regular exercise can help give you energy and strength to get through labor.
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Swimming And Water Aerobics
Swimming and water aerobics are low impact exercises that can help keep the body toned and do not present a risk of falling.
If a person is accustomed to swimming or doing water aerobics, their usual routine will often be safe during the first trimester of pregnancy.
If a person is new to swimming, they may want to start by taking two or three 30-minute classes each week. Once they become more confident, they could go for 30-minute sessions a few times per week or as often as feels comfortable for them.
Stretching Exercises For Pregnancy
Stretching exercises make the muscles limber and warm, which can be especially helpful when you’re pregnant. Here are some simple stretches you can do before or after exercise:
- Neck rotation. Relax your neck and shoulders. Drop your head forward. Slowly rotate your head to your right shoulder, back to the middle, and over the left shoulder. Complete four slow rotations in each direction.
- Shoulder rotation. Bring your shoulders forward and then rotate them up toward your ears and back down. Do four rotations in each direction.
- Swim. Place your arms at your sides. Bring your right arm up and extend your body forward and twist to the side, as if swimming the crawl stroke. Follow with your left arm. Do the sequence 10 times.
- Thigh shift. Stand with one foot about 2 feet in front of the other, toes pointed in the same direction. Lean forward, supporting your weight on the forward thigh. Change sides and repeat. Do four on each side.
- Leg shake. Sit with your legs and feet extended. Move the legs up and down in a gentle shaking motion.
- Ankle rotation. Sit with your legs extended and keep your toes relaxed. Rotate your feet, making large circles. Use your whole foot and ankle. Rotate four times on the right and four times on the left.
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All About Diastasis Recti
When you begin your pregnancy journey as a new mom, it is important that you spend some time learning about safe core workouts and how they can prevent health conditions like diastasis recti.
Diastis Recti is a condition that any woman that has given birth can experience where your abdominal muscles separate. According to WebMD, around 2/3rds of women will experience this widening in the abdominal wall between your left and right stomach muscles.