Saturday, April 3

Exercises During Pregnancy

In any family in whatever culture or country, birth announcements are always welcomed with gladness. Everyone's hear would lift up knowing a new member of the family is expected.

The days leading up to the baby's birth are filled with excitement and anticipation. The mother's health and the baby's health are intertwined. Whatever affects the mother, either physically or emotionally, will also affect the baby's development. That deep concern for the baby's development pushes some family members to become very critical of the kind of food the mother eats or the types of activities the mother engages in.

Although doctors have recommended walking as a type of exercise that pregnant women can safely engage in, some people still insist that expectant mothers limit their movements as much as they can. The fear for miscarriage was so great that a few women would spend most of their pregnancy lying down or reclining in a soft sofa surrounded by large pillows.

Contrary to this practice, exercise during pregnancy boosts the mother's mood, improves her sleep patterns, and lessens the aches and pains she'd feel while her body adjusts to the hormonal and physical changes. Exercise during pregnancy also helps in preparing the mother's body during childbirth, strengthening muscles and building endurance. It also helps in getting back in shape after childbirth.

Among the exercises that women can do during pregnancy, swimming is the best choice. Healthcare providers and fitness experts hail swimming as the best and safest exercise for pregnant women. Swimming is ideal because it exercises both large muscle groups (arms and legs), provides cardiovascular benefits, and allows expectant women to feel weightless despite the extra pounds of pregnancy.

However, if a woman doesn't know how to swim, she can opt for walking exercises. She can also augment walking with stretching exercises, such as ankle, shoulder and neck rotation. Another set of exercises that can help a woman in giving birth are the Kegel exercises. They strengthen the muscles that support the bladder, uterus and bowel.

To do Kegels, imagine you are trying to stop the flow of urine or trying not to pass gas. When you do this, you are contracting the muscles of the pelvic floor and are practicing Kegel exercises. While doing Kegel exercises, try not to move your leg, buttock, or abdominal muscles.

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