What do Aishwarya Rai, Lara Dutta, Hilary Duff and Carla Bruni have in common? Apart from being beautiful and accomplished women, they’re all eagerly expecting a visit from the stork!
The joys of motherhood bring some challenges, and it’s important to prepare yourself and your body for the childbirth experience. Being pregnant does not mean that you’re automatically going to get fat, and neither must the nine months necessarily leave you feeling listless and tired. A wholesome diet filled with a wide variety of healthy foods and regular exercise will improve your overall health, while meeting the extra demands of the body during this period. To a great extent, your actions determine the way you’ll feel and look. A healthy routine improves blood circulation and gives you a healthy glow, reflecting your inner spirit.
While most doctors recommend exercise during pregnancy, extra precautions must be taken to ensure that both mother’s and baby’s safety are taken into account.
• Start with mild exercises. You might feel like running the marathon, but this stage calls for gentler movements. Choose exercises that don’t tire you out too much.
• Wear comfortable clothing. Opt for fabrics that keep you dry and cool.
• Stick with comfortable footwear that provides strong support to the entire foot, and good grip.
• Don’t forget to drink water! Take regular breaks and keep yourself hydrated.
• Try taking regular walks; it strengthens and tones the muscles, which in turn makes daily tasks easier.
• Controlled breathing exercises can help increase your endurance during labour.
• If you feel fatigued or short of breath, stop and rest immediately!
• Take time to relax and stretch the body before and after exercising.
• Incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.
• It’s best to avoid lifting heavy weights during pregnancy, since it could strain the lower back.
• Do not exercise in a hot space. Make sure your workout area is airy and cool.
• Do not exercise on uncomfortable or uneven surfaces.
• Avoid exercises that call for lying flat on the floor for a long time; this can reduce the blood flow to the womb.
While it’s important to exercise during pregnancy, you must consult your doctor before incorporating any changes into your diet or exercise routine. Discuss the exercise plans and any concerns you might have. Before you actually start wondering if this strange body belongs to you, it’s time to strengthen it and boost your energy levels by paying extra attention to your diet and exercise.
Yoga guru Sharmila speaks to You & I about the benefits of yoga during pregnancy-
“Pregnancy needs to be a time of great vitality when the body is filled with creative energy. Much of the exhaustion and tiredness that most women complain about during pregnancy are avoidable. For pregnancy to progress without any problems, the organs must function healthily and the body needs to stay soft and supple. And this can be done only by exercising regularly! As yoga is a non-impact exercise, the yogic asanas are mild in nature and gently nourish the tissues of the mother and baby. Also, yoga can be used therapeutically to relieve associated problems for the mother. All the asanas are designed for the comfort of both the mother and the baby, and increase the likelihood of a shorter and uncomplicated labour.
“Yoga is a powerful form of exercise that encourages flexibility of the body as well as the mind. Regular yoga will help reduce daily stress and promote relaxation. While awakening the mind-body harmony, yoga can also help relieve many discomforts of pregnancy by releasing the tensions in the body.
“However, a go-ahead from your consulting doctor before you start with prenatal yoga is a must. It is equally important to have a qualified and experienced teacher during pregnancy for guidance. So take a deep breath and let yoga enhance the wonderful experience of motherhood!”