August 12, 2011

Exercise Tips for the Mums-To-Be

Exercise, the very word seems to emit positive vibes! And when this word appears to be so positive, then it can be applied to any situation or condition. Only its "form", "look" and "feel" will assume different appearances as per situations. Obviously, you cannot recommend a high impact, high intensity exercise routine for a woman who has conceived.

Exercising during pregnancy does not only promote the well-being of the mother and the fetus, but it also allows her to experience a smooth, painless and a hassle-free delivery. No human studies so far have been able to claim that healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancy need to limit their exercise for the concern of harmful effects. If you are an expecting mother, then you will need to abide by certain guidelines while exercising:

* Before starting off with a new fitness routine or while following the previous routine after conceiving, consult your gynecologist or midwife for the green signal.

* Avoid exercising if you are diagnosed with complications like pregnancy induced hypertension, preterm membrane rupture, bleeding in 2nd or 3rd trimester and intrauterine growth retardation.

* Drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day especially before, during and after workouts to beat dehydration.

* According to ACOG, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a woman should exercise for 30 to 45 minutes for around 3 to 5 times a week during pregnancy.

* Avoid exercising in supine position after the first trimester as it can decrease the cardiac output to the uterus.

* A pregnant woman requires an additional 300 calories per day to maintain the metabolic activity. Thus, an exercising, pregnant woman needs an additional amount of calories other than the usual metabolic requirement.

* Opt for low to moderate intensity workouts with low impact activities like swimming, aqua aerobics, cycling and training on the elliptical machine.

* You need to increase the duration of the warm up and the cool down sessions.

* You need to monitor your heart rate continuously. Do not let your heart rate go beyond 60 to 70% of the maximum heart rate. Check for signs like fetal distress, difficulty in breathing, palpitations and abdominal cramps. Stop or modify those exercises immediately.

* Emphasize on posture correction, core training and pelvic floor exercises as they will help you in dealing with labor pain. Avoid lifting heavy weights.

* Avoid sports or exercises which need balancing. During pregnancy the center of gravity of the body changes and this can lead to balance disturbances.

* Exercise on a plane surface level to avoid injuries.

* Choose loose, comfortable and light weight clothing during exercising since overdressing can cause the body to get overheated.

* Maintain a correct posture during exercising.

* Avoid strenuous exercises for the abdominal muscles.

* Breathe continuously. Do not try to hold your breath while performing activities (exhale on exertion and inhale on relaxation).

* Avoid contact sports such as gymnastics, volley ball and basket ball after the first trimester.

* Avoid excessive jerking and jarring movements of the joints and the muscles. The joints and muscles become relaxed and loose during pregnancy due to the release of the Relaxin hormone.

* Avoid exercising with extreme fatigue. Avoid exercising in extreme temperatures (hot, cold and humid).

* Try to avoid any type of trauma to the abdominal region.

* Discontinue the exercise, if you observe symptoms like abdominal pain, persistent contractions in the later stage of the second trimester, bloody discharge from the vagina, chest pain, calf pain and swelling and an unexplained dizziness after exercise.

* Decrease your exercise intensity as the pregnancy progresses.

Motherhood means a wonderful addition to your womanhood. So the two aspects of being a woman go hand in hand. To remain as the "dream girl" in the eyes of your partner, you need to pat proper attention to your body during pregnancy and after child birth. And exercises will serve both the purposes- it will allow you to maintain your weight and to stay in good shape while raising your fitness levels so that you can handle all the upcoming hassles of being a mother!

No comments:

Post a Comment