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December 27, 2019 | Farah Jassawalla

How to maintain your fitness and vitality during pregnancy; exercise regime for mothers to be

Exercise can do miracles for your body. Breaking a sweat may seem difficult and can get very taxing, but it does result in a healthier, fitter you. Pregnancy brings about significant changes in the body, and these changes also affect the mind. A healthier mother today entails a healthier generation tomorrow, and in order to ensure that, a fitness regime is highly necessary. There are huge health benefits that come with a properly exercised body. It's easier to bear and resolve mental stresses while you gain the much-required physical strength. 

Reasons why you should opt for exercise

Aches and pains are a part of the whole childbearing process. Medical practitioners all over the U.S. recommend regular physical activity for pregnant women. It helps in dealing with all the trouble that women go through during the trimesters. Moreover, according to the American Pregnancy Association, it also eases labor, which makes way for fast postnatal recovery. Exercise can ward off quite a few pregnancy blues. The potential benefits may include:

1. Helps in reducing bloating

2. Eases nausea by promoting better digestion

3. Effectively deals with backache and pregnancy-related sciatica

4. Lesser mood swings

5. Healthier weight management

6. Easier labor

7. Better chances for a normal delivery

8. Elevated energy levels

9. Sound sleep

Things you should carefully consider before choosing an exercise routine

In order to determine whether a high-intensity workout would suit you or a simple walking routine should suffice, you need to consult your doctor for the best route. A moderately active exercise routine of about 30 mins a day is enough for most women. Most exercises are perfectly safe, but you can fall among those rare few where extra care is necessary. This may include:

1. Hypertension/high blood pressure that some women may develop in the pregnancy

2. Any heart or lung disease that may hinder the blood flow to the womb

3. A low riding Placenta

4. Vaginal bleeding during any trimester or anemia

5. Incompetent or weak cervix

6. Carrying multiple fetuses

7. Previous history of miscarriages for any reason

Finding out which exercise would suit you the most

For all practical purposes, this one varies from person to person. If you have been a sportswoman or were ever engaged in high-intensity workouts, you can still carry on with your routine exercises. Just get the recommendation from your medical examiner, and you'll have started your journey to a fitter body.

On the other hand, if you've had an inactive lifestyle, not all exercises may be perfect for you. Although, without any evidence of prior health traumas, sitting down and staying sluggish just because you're too tired isn't healthy at all. Listed below are some exercises that are recommended for most pregnant women. Just make sure that you talk to your gynecologist before engaging in any of them. 

Taking walks

The easiest way to keep your developing body healthy is by taking regular walks. There's no need for any extra apparatus. A pair of reliable sneakers is all that you need, and you're on your way. Moreover, walking is one such exercise that you can continue throughout your pregnancy without a lag.

Going on a run

Your medical practitioner will recommend that you keep up running routine if you have been in one before becoming pregnant. Just keep in mind that you don't overdo it by going out of breath. In case you start experiencing dizziness or shortening of breath, stop instantly. 

Dips in the pool

A sure-shot way of keeping fit is by swimming regularly. It is a great exercise as it can help a great deal with back pain. You should, however, ensure to keep it at a slow pace and to refrain from jumping into the water. Sliding in would be …

Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and a healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.