Top four workouts for moms-to-be

During pregnancy, it is always important to ensure optimum health of the foetus and mother. We know it is a real challenge to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy but we’ve got your back! Here we present you with a few effective workouts for all the moms-to-be out there:

Flexibility Training and Strength

Stretching: Stretching exercises are vital for strengthening and realigning muscles. As your pregnancy progresses, these exercises are beneficial for both the mother and the baby. Some of the benefits of these exercises are – it prevents muscle injury, keeps muscles and joints flexible for easy delivery, and provides relief from back pain. It should be done atleast three to five times per week, ideally. If possible, hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. Always remember to exhale when you stretch and inhale as you return back to your start position.

Note – After the first trimester, avoid performing stretches while lying flat on your back, as this position reduces blood flow.

Yoga: One of the best and highly effective ways for pregnant women to connect with their babies is through prenatal yoga. Research shows that an excellent way to maintain a healthy mind and body during this time is to do yoga. Additionally, studies suggest that there is a relationship between prenatal yoga and positive foetal outcome, along with a reduction of hypertension-related problems. Always practice prenatal yoga with a certified instructor. Ideally, pregnant women should practice yoga for about 30 minutes a day to increase strength and flexibility, decrease lower back pain, reduce stress, and lower the risk of preterm labour.

Note – Women who are at a risk for premature labour should consult their doctor before performing prenatal yoga.

Cardiovascular Exercises

Swimming: A good cardiovascular exercise for pregnant women is swimming. Expectant mothers can swim for 20 to 30 minutes at a stretch as many times a week as possible. If you didn't exercise at all before pregnancy, consult a doctor before swimming. This low-intensity workout helps mothers-to-be by providing relief from foot swelling. It also strengthens the arms and legs, improves one’s mental state, reduces nausea, reduces high blood pressure, and combats the risk of heart diseases and gestational diabetes.

Note – Do not overexert yourself.

- Akhila Kakarala