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Exercising during pregnancy

Thursday, August 3rd 2017. | Pregnancy

In the times recently past exercising during pregnancy was a complete no-no. Mothers to be were warned not to over exert themselves doing physical work. They were discouraged from climbing stairs or lifting heavy weights for fear that the baby in the womb might get harmed in some way.

In the present scenario, this thinking has changed entirely. Doctors now positively encourage pregnant women to exercise as this would keep them healthy, ease the delivery and speed up post partum recovery.

Exercising during pregnancy is believed to confer many benefits to the mother to be. It eases the bloating, constipation, swelling and the aches and pains that accompany pregnancy. It is especially beneficial in reducing backaches.

The muscles and tendons are kept toned up and this helps in the strenuous effort required during delivery. Regular moderate exercise prevents and controls gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia of pregnancy. Recovery after delivery is faster and smoother.Exercise During Pregnacy


So what are the best exercises to do during pregnancy? Walking regularly is by far the best as it helps the whole body. Swimming is also great as well as water aerobics. Muscle toning and strengthening exercises are also very beneficial. In short, any form of exercise, be it yoga, Pilates, tai chi, aerobics are good to follow as long as certain guidelines are followed.


Firstly, the doctor must be informed about the intent to begin or to continue an exercise regime as there are certain conditions in which exercise might not be advisable. If unfavourable conditions have been ruled out one can embark on the exercise regime.

It is preferable to go slow at first especially if exercise has just been initiated or started after a long gap. The idea is to maintain one’s level of fitness and not improve on it so over exertion must be avoided.

The exercise must be stopped immediately if there are any cold sweats, nausea, or bleeding from the vagina.

High impact exercises such as jumping, hopping, skipping or bouncing must be avoided. It is advisable not to include any activity that can cause a fall or a blow to the abdomen.

Sports like volley ball, football, horse riding, surfing, water skiing, gymnastics, downhill skiing, or mountain biking can be dangerous. Cycling is safe till the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. Cycling on a sedentary cycle in the gym is ok.

Exercising outside in hot, humid weather is to be avoided as the body tends to heat up more in pregnancy. Signs of overheating are excessive sweating, panting for breath, nausea or dizziness. Moving immediately to cool environs and drinking plenty of cool fluids is advised.Pregnancy Time

Any exercise that would have the woman lie flat on her back, say when doing yoga or aerobic exercises, and standing for too long in one place are inadvisable.


Exercise burns calories so the mother to be must eat a well balanced, nutritious diet to benefit both herself and the baby.

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