Pregnancy Stages and Exercise
Regular exercise during pregnancy provides a huge number of benefits – from improved energy, stamina and sleep to decreased muscular aches, pains and tension. It can prepare your body for delivery and thus make delivery easier. Keep away from any new or very tough exercises for the initial 12 weeks of pregnancy. Not all exercises are suitable for everyone and no exercise program should be started until you have gained approval from your obstetrician. Moreover, do not exercise to lose weight during pregnancy. The type and duration of exercise closely connected to the mother's fitness level, and the particular circumstances of the pregnancy.
Before you get Pregnant and Exercise
If you are trying to get pregnant, exercise can provide you with some positive effects. If you are not engaged in any exercise programs, start exercising before getting pregnant. It helps you to prepare your body for a delivery without any complications. On the other hand, too much exercise makes some difficulties in getting pregnant. Vigorous exercise is not allowed even before you get pregnant, so do some moderate exercise. Make your exercise objective a few days per week and only 30 minutes a day. Since exercises tend to increase the heart rate, women who are not getting pregnant should take a break from exercises for at least three months.
First Trimester and Exercise
If you regularly engaged in any exercise routine prior to pregnancy, you can continue it in the first trimester (first 12 weeks of pregnancy). To accommodate your growing belly, it is suggested to adjust the exercise program. Ensure the exercises you are doing are low impact ones such as swimming or walking. If you participated in jogging or aerobics before the pregnancy, you can continue it. If you are just beginning to exercise, the most important thing is to do it slow and steady.
Second Trimester and Exercise
Aerobic activities such as running, swimming, yoga and strength training are all suitable during the second trimester (14–26 weeks). Mild exercise such as walking will progress your general well being as well as help prevent health problems. In order to enhance circulation, it is important to stand and move around more frequently.
Third Trimester and Exercise
Beginning a gentle, moderate exercise in third trimester of pregnancy (weeks 28-40) do not have any negative effect on the delivery process. It helps maintaining strength and muscle tone as well as a positive effect on uterus blood flow. You can choose aerobic exercise, walking (warm up and cool down), rhythmic aerobic exercise in standing and lying position. Do not continue, if you feel any discomfort or pain at the time of exercise.
After Birth and Exercise
Exercise after delivery is beneficial for the physical and psychological health for most new mothers. It increases energy levels, improves self-esteem and helps reduce the additional pounds gained during the pregnancy. Start with small bits of exercise and gradually work your way back into a fitness routine. A daily brief walk after the first or second week is good. Include strength exercises for the abdomen, back and legs. Try to exercise regularly at least 3 times a week. Stop exercising if you have pain, increased bleeding or other negative signs. The general advice from midwives and physicians is to wait 6-8 weeks before really getting into a fitness routine.