Exercise during pregnancy: is it safe?

Indian women seldom keep up their exercise while expecting a baby. But total lack of exercise not only increases your chances of gaining too much weight  but also hampers your preparedness for childbirth

Most pregnant women can exercise safely during pregnancy. Research has conclusively shown that exercise does not have bad impact on the baby

Check out ‘which conditions in pregnancy make exercise risky

If you do not have any of these conditions which preclude you from exercising, you should try and keep exercising all through pregnancy. Find below the types of exercises that you can do during pregnancy.

Also read about the correct way of exercising during pregnancy

Exercises that you can do during pregnancy

Aerobic exercises: safest aerobic exercises are brisk walking or even jogging ( if you already are a regular jogger) but avoid aerobic exercises which require extensive jumping, hopping, skipping, or bouncing and contact sports such as basket ball etc.

You can also do stretching and resistance exercises , but avoid deep knee bends, full sit-ups, double leg raises and straight-leg toe touches and exercises that require lying on your back or right side for more than three minutes and avoid holding your breath during any activity or have a risk of you falling down

Exercises to prepare for childbirth:

Kagel’s exercise: This is an exercise for strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. It improves blood circulation to your rectal and vaginal area, helping to keep hemorrhoids at bay. It also helps in speeding healing after an episiotomy or tear, if you get one during childbirth. This is a very simple exercise in which you tighten the muscles around your vagina as if you are trying to interrupt the flow of urine, hold for a count of four and then release.

Do this exercise ten times in one go/set, and do three-four such sets three times a day

Squat or tailor’s pose

Squatting or tailor’s pose help strengthen your thighs and open your pelvis

Check out ‘How to do squat during pregnancy‘ and ‘How to do tailor’s pose during pregnancy

Correct way to do exercises during pregnancy

  • Wear lose clothes and correct fitting shoes (you may have to buy new exercise clothes and shoes)
  • Drink one glass of water before you exercise, one glass for every 20 minutes of exercise, and one glass after you finish your workout
  • Do not exercise in hot and humid surroundings
  • Warm up well, do at least 5-6 minutes of warm up
  • Eat extra calories over and above the nearly 300-400 extra you already are eating for the pregnancy
  • Stop exercise immediately and contact your doctor if you have any of the warning symptoms

CHECK OUT: Our references for care during pregnancy