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IMPORTANCE OF EXERCISE DURING PREGNANCY

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful and enriching phases of a woman's life. It brings along with it an array of emotions. It not only helps a woman grow and learn but also the entire family that will soon welcome the baby.

In pregnancy, it becomes very vital for a woman to be strong; physically, emotionally and mentally. This essentially means that a woman and her family should be in a happy space at most times and prepare their minds and lives to suit the baby.

Why is it important to exercise during pregnancy?

Dr Nikita says " Physically, it is very important for a woman to stay fit and healthy before and during pregnancy in order to support herself and the baby." A healthy woman experiences a hassle-free pregnancy. There are a lot of myths surrounding a woman exercising or carrying on with her routine work during pregnancy.

Let us break this myth. A woman can work her way through a normal routine as usual but will require a little more rest compared to a non-pregnant woman. General fitness is equally important during pregnancy as it is to a woman before and after pregnancy.

In fact, exercising in the right way and in the right amounts during pregnancy will make her body flexible to deliver the baby, eases any kind of body pains like back pain, leg pain etc. while also promoting a healthy weight gain.

How much exercise is too much exercise during pregnancy?

If you're not used to exercising, start slowly and build up to 30 minutes a day. Or you can break your 30 minutes into 10-minute chunks.
A moderate-intensity workout for about 5 days a week is more than perfect when a woman is pregnant.

A moderate intensity work-out would mean that a woman is moving enough to sweat and there is a rise in her heartbeat. Further, Dr Nikita recommends exercises like walking, swimming, certain aerobics and yoga classes, and cycling on a stationary bike.
for pregnant women.

What are the precautions you should take while exercising during pregnancy?

Exercise isn't safe for everyone during pregnancy, especially if you have certain problems, such as vaginal bleeding, cervical problems, leaking of amniotic fluid, or other complications.
Your body changes during pregnancy. Some of those changes make some exercises riskier than others. Hormones loosen the ligaments that support your joints. Extra weight in front of your body can also make it harder to balance.
If your health care provider gives you the green light, aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
A couple of precautions that can still be taken while exercising during pregnancy are:

1. stay hydrated, before, during and after the work-out.

2. Wear comfortable clothing

3. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables

What are the signs and symptoms of over-exercising during pregnancy?

While exercising during pregnancy, if you spot the following signs or symptoms, then it is an indication of an unsuitable exercising routine. This might be due to the intensity of the workout or wrong postures while exercising. The signs or symptoms that indicate this are:

1. Blood loss per vaginam

2. Leaking per vaginam

3. Fainting or dizziness

4. Chest pain and

5. Uterine contractions

What is the importance of post-pregnancy exercise?

Do you need exercise even after pregnancy? Dr Nikita says, "Of course! Although exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do as a new mum, it does have benefits."

Gentle lower belly exercises and pelvic floor exercises are all it takes to help your body recover at this stage.

The most important exercises in the first few days after birth are your pelvic floor exercises. Start doing them as soon as you can.

Strengthening your pelvic floor will help to protect you against having accidental urine leaks. It'll benefit you in the long term, and through any further pregnancies. Pelvic floor exercises will help your perineum and vagina to heal more quickly. That's because the exercises improve circulation to the area, helping to reduce swelling and bruising. If you have stitches, exercising your pelvic floor won't put any strain on them.

What are the benefits of exercising before, during and after pregnancy?

1. Boosts your mood by increasing the levels of feel-good chemicals (endorphins) in your brain.

2. Helps you to lose any weight you gained during pregnancy if you eat sensibly.

3. Protects you from aches and pains.

4. Boosts your energy levels.

5. Improves your strength and stamina, which will make looking after your newborn easier.

The key to exercising healthily is to listen to your body. It's best to stay away from high-impact exercises, such as high-intensity aerobics or running, for about five months after having your baby. This will give your pelvic floor time to recover from pregnancy and birth. If you are unsure about what you should be doing, talk to your obstetrician.

You may feel on a high for the first few days. Then you may come down to earth with a crash when the baby blues kick in or you run out of energy. Try to pace yourself with a little exercise followed by a well-earned rest. Dr Nikita recommends exercising daily to keep you at bay from having any experiences of PND (Postnatal Depression)

So enjoy the journey of being fit and healthy while bringing in a new life!

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