It is really a good idea to keep fit and exercise during pregnancy, but be careful to take up strenuous exercises especially when you are pregnant for the first time. The following exercises are great whether you have done them before or not and you can this throughout the pregnancy stages. You should always listen to your body and stop when you have done enough. You can also speak to your doctor or caregiver on which exercises will be best to follow.
Few exercises to try:
- Yoga – this is an excellent form of relaxation and exercise, choose a class that is designed for your need.
- Walking – it is a great way to exercise, in the 3rd trimester it’s also good for positioning the baby ready for birth.
- Swimming – this is the all round exercise that can be used anytime in life. When you are pregnant it’s refreshing to feel weightless and unencumbered in the water.
Having a good pregnancy posture:
Stand tall with your back straight and bottom tucked in. This will support your baby on your stomach muscles, thighs and buttocks.Well toned muscles will regain their shape more quickly after birth. A good posture will also aid digestion.
Pelvic floor exercises
Increased progesterone levels during pregnancy soften the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles run around the urethra, vagina and anus and are the thickest at he perineum. The softening of the muscles and the pressure of the uterus can cause leaks of urine. Practise everyday and resume as soon as possible after birth.
The Pelvic Tilt
this exercise is an excellent preparation for labour. It strengthens the stomach and making the back and pelvis more flexible.
- Kneel on all fours. Keep your shoulders still and your back flat.
- Pull in your stomach and bottom. Gently tilt your pelvis forward while breathing out, so that your back arches upwards. Hold for a few seconds, but keep breathing. Inhale and release. Repeat this several times and don’t forget, stop when you feel you have to!
Getting back into shape after your pregnancy
If you practise daily your figure will gradually return and it is very important to take things gently to begin with.
Pelvic floor/Cat stretch
You can start again with these exercises after birth. Your muscles will have been stretched and possibly weakened after birth. You possibly have done these exercises during pregnancy and can start with them as soon as you can. This exercise will also help in strengthening your back muscles. See the steps from above.
sit down or lie down where you are comfortable. Bend your feet up and down from the ankle to improve circulation and guard against swelling. Do this hourly from day one after birth.
Keep your hips facing forward and reach down sideways as far as you can, again moving slowly and smoothly. Rest your hand on your leg and give it a moment before moving to the other side.
For the first week gently pull in your abdominal muscles as you breathe out hold for a few seconds then relax. After this and if you still feel well, lie on the floor with your head and shoulders supported and your knees bent. Use cushions to support your neck. Lift your head and shoulders as you breathe out. Hold this position for a moment and relax. Repeat this exercise three times and twice daily.
This is a fairly easy exercise. Still lying on the floor, lift your head and shoulders and reach for the opposite ankle, hold this for a while and lie back, take a breather and then reach for the other side with your opposite hand.
Side leg lift
Keeping both legs in line with your hip and shoulder, lift the upper leg to the height of your shoulder, hold for a moment then lower your leg again. This exercise will help you tone your hips and thighs.
These are just a few exercising tips. Hope they help and enjoy getting back into shape.