Are you active? 3 extensive tips for expecting moms.
When you hear that you’re pregnant, staying active might not be the first thought that comes to mind. However, it’s generally recommended that even if expecting moms aren’t particularly active before their pregnancy, there are benefits of being active during. While it might not be the case if you get put on bed rest, a little exercise is good for you and baby!
Finding what activities to do while pregnant can be a struggle, however. Here, we are going to take a closer look at why you should be active and what you can do to stay active!
Why be active?
The first question to tackle is why you should be active during your pregnancy. Well, barring situations in which your doctor recommends against it, activity offers a lot of benefits.
Namely, it can make your pregnancy much easier for you. There are actually a few reasons for this. It can make labor and delivery easier and lower weight gain. Away from the topic of physical health, though, it can keep you in good spirits.
Physical exercise is a natural way to boost your mood both when you’re pregnant and when you aren’t. When you work out, your body releases endorphins that make you feel happier and less stressed. Another way to keep your spirits up during your pregnancy is to find a hobby that you love. Woodworking and gardening are interesting choices to learn something new. If you haven’t tried woodworking before, you can look on the Toolsy to find tips on the tools you need.
What can you do to be active?
The general guideline many suggests is that pregnant women try to get around 2 and a half hours a week of moderate exercise.
The first question that many pregnant women have when they are choosing an activity is what can’t they do. The biggest things to avoid are any activities where you risk falling – like skiing – or ones where you risk getting hit in the stomach – like soccer. You should also avoid exercise that calls for you to lie on your back for long periods after your first trimester.
It’s also advised not to overexert yourself either. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests women pay attention to what their bodies tell them – such as their breathing – as the exercise. This comes from the concern that overexertion can reduce the blood flow that is getting to your baby.
If you start to feel uncomfortable, take a break. You’ll also want to make sure that you breathe correctly as you exercise and make sure you are drinking plenty of water.
Exercises that strain your lower back are also ones you want to avoid. A big part of this is because most pregnant women deal with lower back pain without extra physical exertion.
However, there are plenty of activities that you can do stay healthy during your pregnancy. Here are a few that might work for you.
The majority of people don’t work out regularly. In fact, some estimates say that only 20% to 30% of individuals work out on a regular basis. So, when you find out your pregnant, you might not know what activities are best or be prepared for higher intensity options.
The most basic option you have is to start off by walking. Not only is this an easy exercise to fit into your day, it’s also surprisingly effective.
When it comes to how much you should walk, the prevalent suggestion is 20 or 30 minutes of brisk walking around 3 or 4 times a week. If you want to go the extra mile and try to cut down on weight gain during your pregnancy, you can bump this up to as many as 5 times a week.
Some women decide to get this walking into their busy days by taking extra time to walk their dogs or walk to nearby locations instead of jumping in the car.
There are plenty of prenatal yoga classes available and they can be a beneficial activity to try.
For one, yoga helps to relax you which will help you deal with the stress you feel during pregnancy. In a class, you can also create a support system for yourself full of other pregnant women who are handling the same things you are.
The physical benefits of prenatal yoga aren’t anything to scoff at either. At the very least, it can help you sleep better and reduce nausea, headaches, and back pain. On a higher level, yoga can help you lower your risk of preterm labor and intrauterine growth restriction.
Yoga can also help women increase their flexibility, endurance, and strength. These benefits can help you have a smoother labor.
If you love the water, you might find that you love it even more during your pregnancy! Water allows you to move more freely as you feel weightless. So, swimming and water exercises are great choices as you move along in your pregnancy. Underwater activities such as scuba diving should be avoided.