Exercises and Comfort during  Preganancy   Pregnancy  •  Reproductive Anatomy  •  Pre-natal Care  •  Nutrition and Health  •  Exercises and Comfort  •  Preparation for Child Birth  •  Labour and Birth  •  Complication & Medications  •  Breast Feeding  •  Baby Care
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Home > Exercises and Comfort
Exercises and Comfort during Preganancy
• Posture and Movement • Comfort Measures • Safe effective exercises..
Exercises  during  PreganancyMaintaining a good body posture and good body mechanics will go a long way to assure you of a safe and comfortable pregnancy. You should be able to perform your daily chores in a comfortable manner. As you progress in pregnancy, you will find that you tend to put on weight and your body contour undergoes a sea change. The centre of gravity of your body alters, because of the extra weight you are carrying in your enlarged abdomen, so you need to compensate for this change of weight and shape by adjusting your posture and balance. To avoid accidents and specially to maintain a good posture, you must exer-cise for toning up and strengthening your abdominal muscles. Along with maintaining a good posture you can also avoid backache, push the baby out more easily and hasten the full recovery of your figure after the birth if you tone up your abdominal muscle.

Following some basic rules, you will be able to carry out your daily activities with less strain and pain and avoid fatigue.

You can improve your posture by standing as tall as possible and by keeping your chin level. The alignment of the body is maintained if your head is held high. Your shoulders should be relaxed; your abdominal muscles should be firm. This will assist you to straighten your spine. You should relax your knees and your feet should support your body weight equally. The heel and ball of each foot should support the weight of your body.

Poor posture is the root cause of backache. Poor posture causes your abdominal muscles to relax, the curve of your back is lengthened which pressurizes the small mus-cles of your low back which are striving to maintain your balance and alignment. During late pregnancy you should not stand in one position for long duration. The blood flow from your legs to your heart is inhibited by standing which will lead to light headedness. If you cannot avoid standing, you must use your leg muscles to stimulate the blood flow back to your heart from your leg, by shifting the weight of your body from one leg to the other.

Prolonged sitting, like standing hinders the return of blood from your legs during late pregnancy. Circulation in your legs can be improved by frequently moving and rotating your feet at the ankles.

You should be careful while lifting heavy objects, since joints and ligaments are softened and relaxed during pregnancy. Bend at the knees when lift-ing an object and never bend at the waist while lifting. You should not lie flat on your back in late pregnancy as your heavy uterus may press on the large abdom-inal vein, reducing the blood flow from the lower body to the heart, thereby lowering your blood pressure. The oxygen supply to the baby may be decreased, which may slow down the fetal heart rate.

You must also be careful while getting up from the floor or out of bed; you should roll onto your side and bend your hips and knees. At the latter stages of pregnancy, you may get Cramps in the calves or feet when you are resting or asleep for a long period. The reasons for cramps are fatigue in calf muscles, increased pressure on the nerves to the legs, impaired circulation and a calcium-phosphorus imbalance in the blood. Slow and gentle stretching of your muscles will relieve you from muscle cramps.

Exercises during PreganancyIf you`re pregnant, the last thing you`re worried about is exercise, but you cannot ignore the beneficial effects of exercise. Studies have suggested that exercise during pregnancy will entail an easier and shorter labor and birth, fewer cesarean surgeries, a quicker recovery postpartum, a quicker return to your pre-pregnancy weight, last but not the least, a healthier feeling pregnancy.

Taking up a new sport is not recommended for the persons who were otherwise sedentary; however, all is not lost. There are several exercises that you can do while pregnant, even if you were previously couch potatoes. These would generally be: walking, swimming, and specialized pregnancy aerobics. You must listen to your body and not exert yourself. Make sure you monitor your heart rate closely and keep it below 140 beats per minute. You can take the `talk test.` To find out if your heart beat is below 140 beats per minute. Make sure you can carry on a tκte-ΰ-tκte without gasping for air. Don`t forget to hydrate yourself with water; try to avoid walking in a extremely hot and humid environment. Comfortable loose-fitting clothing is also essential for you along with a good pair of shoes.

Depending on the progress of your pregnancy, your fitness and the extent of your daily activity you will select the kind and the duration of the exercises best suited for you. You undergo many changes in the course of your pregnancy Your ligaments relax and your joints become more flexible. These happen due to hormonal changes.. Phy-sical changes during pregnancy directly affect your tolerance for exercise.

You should not take up vigorous sports, or sports that require good bal-ance or sudden jerky movements like softball, skating or tennis etc. However, if you are al-ready skilled in such sports and have been playing them, then continue playing them until you feel uncomfortable. As long as your pregnancy remains normal, you may continue any recrea-tional sport or activity in which you feel competent. It is anyway better to avoid potentially danger-ous activities such as skydiving, scuba diving, springboard diving or rock climbing.

Aerobic exercise program improves heart and lung performance. The aerobic program may also include exercises for strength and flexibility. Monitor your pulse rate frequently to make sure it does not go beyond the specified rate.

The scope and duration for aerobic program during pregnancy depend on your age and fitness level. Once the program is selected for you, you should initiate yourself by starting slowly and gently. Avoid exhausting exercises since they may affect you and your unborn child. If you feel any discomfort like headache, nausea, severe breathlessness, dizziness, or loss of muscle control, stop exercising. Remember to listen to your body carefully and let it guide you.

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