Expectant mothers get going, it’s time for you to leave the couch and sweat it out for good reasons, though you shouldn’t be harsh on yourself. The benefits of exercise during pregnancy are no secret. But if you are a non-exerciser it’s not a good time to start sprinting. ‘Get a medical clearance from your doctor before you start exercising during pregnancy. For women who have been active and passionate about being fit, pregnancy shouldn’t be an excuse to stop sweating. Instead modify the regimen to fit the bill now. Remember not exercising for nine months will not only make labour hard on you, it will also make hitting the gym post pregnancy challenging,’ says Vinata Shetty, Reebok master trainer, Qi gym, Mumbai. So while you want to reap the benefits of exercising during pregnancy, here’s what you should keep in mind.
Getting started. If you had been exercising pre-pregnancy you can continue with your fitness activity – running, weight training, swimming, etc. ‘All you need to keep in mind is that you will have to lower your intensity keeping up with the changes happening in your body,’ says Vinata. For non-exercisers, a green signal from your doctor is needed. If you are starting go slow and be consistent with your exercise routing. Brisk walking would be an ideal way to kick start a fitness routine. Know more about the benefits of exercising during pregnancy.
Avoid lying on your back. At any point of time during pregnancy avoid putting any pressure on your core and back. Ditch the crunches, ‘Instead do more planks, squatting and try postures that makes you workout standing and bending sideways. Pressure on your core can restrict the blood flow to the growing baby and cause harm,’ says Vinata.
Do low impact cardio vascular exercises. Instead of concentrating on flexibility try and focus on building up strength albeit cautiously. ‘During pregnancy your joints are already loose and flexible due to the release of a hormone called relaxin. With high impact cardio vascular exercises there is no need to put your body on a hyper flexibility mode,’ advises Vinata. Choose low impact aerobics, brisk walking, cycling, yoga or even swimming. All this will help you build on your stamina being nice to your joints. ‘If you opt to run on a treadmill make sure you aren’t just pushing yourself to catch up with more speed than expected. You know for sure a fall on the treadmill can result in adverse consequences even if not pregnant,’ cautious Vinata. Know more about pregnancy dos and don’ts during the first trimester.