20 June, 2009

Pregnancy: Safe Exercise

If you’re pregnant, you should spend nine months on the couch, resting comfortably or you should get up and get moving?.
Here we bring you advice on how to exercise safely, and what to watch out for.

Most of the doctors feared that aerobics or running could damage the foetus, and prescribed complete rest. Exercising eases common ailments, such as lower back pain and fatigue.

If you have been following a regular exercise program prior to your pregnancy, you should be able to maintain that program to some degree throughout your pregnancy.

Guidelines for Exercise :

1. Start slowly for First trimester
If you are just starting an exercise program as a way of improving your health during your pregnancy, you should start very slowly and be careful not to over exert yourself.

2 Don't overdo
Listen to your body. Your body will naturally give you signals that it is time to reduce the level of exercise you are performing.It Monitors your heart rate (should be less than 140 beats/minute) and breathing. If your heart's racing, your baby's is too. If you feel breathless (common in the first trimester), slow down.

3. Avoid exercise in extremely hot weather
Avoid exercising at high altitudes or in heat and humidity.

4. Drink lots of water
Take frequent breaks, and drink plenty of fluids during exercise.

5. Reduce the intensity level as the pregnancy progresses.
During the second and third trimesters, avoid exercise that involves lying flat on your back as this decreases blood flow to your womb.

Wear comfort cloths and Footwares
Dress for comfort Wear loose clothing, non-skid shoes and a sports bra. If you're large breasted, wear a maternity bra under the sports bra. Wear comfortable exercise footwear that gives strong ankle and arch support.

7. Watch your balance
Avoid rocky terrain or unstable ground when running or cycling. Your joints are more lax in pregnancy, and ankle sprains and other injuries may occur as 'prevention is the best protection'.

8. Stay off your back

After the fourth month, your uterus has grown out of your pelvis and when you're on your back, this reduces blood flow and therefore oxygen, to your baby. Most women get dizzy or light-headed if they lie on their backs.

9. Don't over-stretch
Women tend to strain muscles and ligaments easily during pregnancy.

10. Do Kegel exercises religiously

11. Avoid jumping or running

Most women can't keep the same pace that they did before the pregnancy. There are several exercises that you can do while pregnant. These would include walking, swimming, yoga and specialized pregnancy aerobics.

Pregnant women can exercise 30 minutes a day. In the first trimester, you can do almost any form of exercise. After that, running and cycling get uncomfortable. Postpartum recovery is much easier for women who've exercised.

You can start exercising about four to six weeks postpartum for a vaginal birth and six to eight weeks for a surgical birth. Talk to your doctor. Kegels can be done immediately after birth.

The benefits of exercise include :
1. Reduced weight gain during your pregnancy
2. Less physical complaints
3. Shortened period of being in labor
4. Less labor complications
5. Faster postpartum recovery
6. Faster postpartum weight loss

You might need special attention if you have :
1. Asthma or chronic lung or breathing problems
2. Heart related problems
3. High BP (blood pressure)
4. Extreme weight problems (underweight or overweight)
5. Muscle or joint problems
6. Multiple pregnancy
7. A history of miscarriages
8 History of incompetent cervix
9. Persistent bleeding
10. Placental problems (such as a condition known as previa)

You have to Stop the exercise if you experience :
1. Faint spells
2. Headaches
3. Dizziness
4. Breathing problems / Asthma
5. Uterine contractions
6. Any vaginal bleeding or fluid leaking out
7. Heart palpitations

Related Topics:
Pregnancy: Healthy Diet
Pregnancy: Safe Exercise
Pregnancy: Helpful Tips
Pregnancy: Hyperemesis gravidarum