It is encouraged by health practitioners that pregnant women should spend up to 30 or more minutes each day in light physical activities. Light physical activities have the ability to burn between 3 and 6.5 calories each minute, and do not necessarily lead to exhaustion. This should however be done after the consultation of a doctor to prevent over-doing or undertaking the exercises inappropriately. The doctor might recommend shunning from certain physical exercises that may pose risk to you and your unborn child.
Among the numerous positive outcomes of physical exercise during pregnancy include;
- speeds up the process of recovery after delivery
- increases blood flow in the body
- relieves one of stress and depression
- overcomes fatigue
- Creates a feeling of well-being and enhances the body shape and posture
Light exercises during pregnancy moreover reduce a woman’s chances of getting preeclampsia, an unwanted medical condition that is associated with blood pressure. Also, it helps reduce the risk of being obese a decade after delivery, which is mainly as a result of excessive weight gain during the pregnancy period, pregnant women who take physical exercises also report improved sleep quality and lesser crabby and mood swing feelings.
In addition, exercises reduce the risk of developing colon and breast cancer, cancer of the endometrial and lung cancer. Women are exposed to a higher risk of developing such during pregnancy.
When engaging in physical activity during pregnancy, do not over task oneself, a lot of water intake is good as it prevents dehydration and keeps the body’s energy levels high.
Determining the amount of physical activity you need
Contrary to common belief, you don’t have to undertake long, strenuous activities; short aerobic activities of even 10 minutes have the ability to deliver health benefits. The amount of physical exercise you need in pregnancy should involve consideration of your daily routine activities such as housework, cooking and cleaning, taking a walk to the workplace or even the parking lot. Walking should be done moderately; you should not walk for over 30 minutes as it is too much for you, you can try walking for only 15 minutes daily at 2 miles per hour. Then increase your time to 20 minutes as you adapt in progress. The good thing about such exercises is that they do not need professional trainers.
Picking a suitable activity
With so much to do in a single day, it can be difficult to decide on the kind of activities to do during the few minutes you set aside. You should pick an activity that keeps you motivated and is easy to engage in on a regular basis, the best activities should be fun and enjoyable as they will keep you motivated. If you find it tough deriving motivation for physical activity, you can talk it out with your kids or friends and discover the barriers and solutions to break them. Behold a number of activities to get you on track;
- 30 minutes workout and body stretching or substitute 4 to 12 minutes of the same all through the day.
- 10 Light sit-ups on the couch with a resting pillow on the bottom to support your back as you rock forth and back. You should always bend from the hips forward and not from the waist, maintain a straight back.
- Constantly using the staircase in preference to the elevator.
- Participating in dancing classes or at home with your partner.
- Using a wrist pedometer to count the number of steps you make in a day, 8 to 10000 steps are healthy enough.
- Playing with children, while doing so you can also create awareness of fitness benefits to them.
- Going short walks between working hours, this could be on a lunch break.
- Periodically going for hiking with your partner, friends or members of such a club.
- Pushing a power vacuum cleaner at least once a day for 10 to 15 minutes.
7don’ts for physical activity during pregnancy
- Never engage in physical activity without a doctor’s consultation. This will manage pregnancy-related risks .i.e. Miscarriage from inappropriate conduct of exercise.
- Do don’t work too hard, a common means of evaluating how hard you work is by talking. The easier you talk during exercise, the lesser the hardness of the work, and vice versa. You can also check your vigorousness by assessing you rate of inhalation and sweating.
- Never hold your breath when engaging in physical exercises; it could result in changes in the body’s blood pressure. You should inhale as you lift something and exhale as you relax.
- Avoid taking physical activities in hot climate; it may cause dehydration of sudden fainting.
- Do not ignore safety precautions advised by your trainer or doctor.
- Avoid dangerous movements such as vigorous neck-circulation or sit-ups with straight legs.
- Do not wear ornaments or breakable material when engaging in physical activities.
Tips for safety during physical activity
Ensure to warm up before engaging in activities that involve stretching. You can either take a walk or do some slight jogging.
Have an object of support near your training area in case you get unsteady during the exercise .i.e. a chair.
Always take a lot of water all throughout the training time, regardless of your thirst. It should be done before, during and after.
You should start the physical activities at a slow pace then pick up to higher paces later, this is to allow the body to slowly adapt its cardiovascular endurance.
Maintain high sensitivity to your body; know when it needs a break and when something unusual is going on.
Dress appropriately for the activities, good shoes will help in maintaining balance.
Indoor venues for physical activities must be constantly kept neat and well ventilated.
You should always appreciate every effort you make and achievement you get, wait for no one to reward you. Since junk food is unhealthy for expectant mothers, you can play your favorite song in full volume and even dance Zumba to it. It will keep you rejuvenated, in high spirits and clear your mind getting the exercise activity all exciting again