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Dos and Don'ts of Antenatal Exercising

Updated: Feb 5, 2019



Exercising during pregnancy like most things in life should be moderate, thought out and well planned. To avoid complications, it’s important to know what kind of exercises that you are allowed to do while pregnant and those you should avoid. Furthermore, be sure to check with your doctor before you begin an exercise routine. Check out our list of the do's and don'ts of antenatal exercising.


Acceptable Exercises During Pregnancy

As a general rule, you should be able to hold a conversation as you exercise when pregnant. If you become breathless as you talk, then you're probably exercising too strenuously. If you're new to exercising, you’d want to start small with about minute routines and work your way to 30 minutes of exercise per day.


Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises are simple clench-and-release exercises that make the muscles of your pelvic floor stronger. The pelvic floor muscles support the womb, the bladder, and the bowels. If the muscles are weak, these pelvic organs may lower into a woman’s vagina. Besides being extremely uncomfortable, this can also cause urinary incontinence. Engaging in kegel exercises can aid in an easier delivery as the exercise routine helps you to develop the ability to control your muscles during labour.


Please read also; Benefits of exercising during pregnancy


Swimming

Swimming is one of the safest forms of exercises for pregnant women because while you’re in the pool, dangerous situations like falling, overheating of the body and hard contact are eliminated or minimal. Swimming improves circulation to your whole body and boosts oxygen levels in your blood, relieve ankle and foot swelling, Ease sciatic pain (Baby’s floating right along with you instead of pressing down on your sciatic nerve) and could reduce morning sickness.


Walking

I’m sure your eyes have once caught a pregnant lady (usually accompanied by her husband) having a stroll on the side walk of the street. Walking is a very beneficial because it's safe for your pregnancy, keeps you healthy and fit, is easier on your knees than running and can be easily worked into your schedule. Ensure you are well hydrated, do not walk under very hot weather and wear good shoes to decrease the risk of falling or pressure on your feet.


Stationary bike riding

Stationary cycling is a great exercise while you’re pregnant because the bike is stationary and the risk of falling is lower. This type of cycling is a healthy way to keep fit, burn calories, tone muscles and stay active. These benefits all put together will help to improve your chances of an easier labour and delivery.




Yoga

Yoga provides a tripartite benefit of stress reduction, keeping you fit and helping you maintain a healthy mind. Other benefits of yoga might include; enhanced flexibility and endurance, better sleep, lower back pain reduction and reduces the feeling of nausea.


Unacceptable Exercises During Pregnancy

To avoid putting you and your baby at risk, it’ll be wise to avoid engaging in the following exercises while you're pregnant.

· Exercise at high altitude e.g., Skydiving

· Scuba diving, which could put your baby at risk of decompression sickness. a condition that results when too rapid decompression causes nitrogen bubbles to form in the tissues of the body. It can cause pain in the muscles and joints, cramp, numbness, nausea, and paralysis.

· Contact sports like basketball, football, boxing

· Activities like outdoor cycling, taekwondo, horseback riding, and skating where you have a high risk of falling.

· Activities such as water skiing, surfing and diving where you're at risk of hitting water with great force.


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