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The Ultimate Guide to Prenatal Exercise

The ULTIMATE GUIDE TO Prenatal Exercise The Benefits Improves sleeping pattern Exercise burns off excess energy that can guide you towards a more restful sleep, especially during the third trimester when sleep disturbance may increase. Improves your mood Exercise releases serotonin which can have a positive effect on your mood. Eases back pain and other aches Stretches can help your body deal with pregnancy pains, while strengthening exercises may help avoid these pains altogether. Boosts energy Exercise can strengthen your cardiovascular system and tighten your muscles. This actually helps decrease the energy required to complete everyday tasks. Prepares your body for childbirth The better shape you are in, the stronger you will be during labour and delivery. Reduces your risk for complications Exercise can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and ease symptoms of postpartum depression. Exercise Tips Always warm up before exercise and take the time to cool down afterwards. Avoid strenuous exercise during hot conditions. Always keep hydrated by drinking lots of water. Consider going swimming as the water will help support your weight. Avoid leaps, jumps and twirls. Protect your bump by avoiding contact sports. Equipment Suitable Trimesters: 2 3 The treadmill is usually suitable throughout the whole of pregnancy, although the type of activity may change as pregnancy progresses. 1 The stepper is most appropriate during the first trimester, but with changes to posture and stability, it limit its use or discontinue may be necessary thereafter. The rowing machine is an effective method of non-impact exercise to work both upper and lower parts of the body. This is suitable during the first and possibly the second trimester. Due to the abdomen enlarging and posture changing, it should be avoided in the third trimester. The upright cycle is appropriate throughout the whole pregnancy. If knees collide with the lower abdomen, elevate your seat. This exercise may get more uncomfortable as pregnancy progresses. 1 3 The cross-trainer is another effective method of non-impact exercise for both the upper and lower body. This can be used throughout pregnancy but arm action should not be performed in the final trimester as this encourages twisting and rotating from the spine. Exercises TRIMESTER Average Welght Gain: 2-5 pounds • Cardiovascular exercises, including walking, swimming, 1 dancing and low-impact aerobics are all encouraged. • Flexibility and strength exercises such as yoga, pilates and stretching are all safe and can prevent muscle strain. 0-13 weeks Prone Abdominal Hollowing Abdominal hollowing strengthens muscles that pull in your tummy. By lying the down on your back, inhale deeply through the nose, holding the hollow for around 10 seconds and exhale slowly through pursed lips. Lower your navel towards the ground. Perform 8-10 repetitions. This technique will only suit those in early stages of pregnancy. Pelvic floor exercises (kegels) This exercise helps to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, which come under great strain in pregnancy and childbirth. Correct breathing and posture are paramount to effective kegels. Practice slow and fast contractions. TRIMESTER Average Weight Gain: 1-2 pounds per week • Try cardiovascular exercise for at least 15 minutes per day and up to 60 minutes. • Fatigue and lack of enthusiasm towards exercise may be a sign to reduce the duration of your exercise. 14-26 weeks Standing Abdominal Hollowing The same as the prone position but standing. When breathing in and holding the contraction for 10 seconds, the spine needs to remain neutral and shoulders stay relaxed and down. This will further provide stability from a standing posture. Stablity BalI Foot Lift The exercise is used to stabilise the hips. spine and shoulders. Sitting upright on the stability ball, lace the hands at the side for support, breathe in and relax the abdominals and then exhale and hollow the abdominals while lifting the heel of the ground. Breathe when holding the position for approximately 10 seconds, then lower the foot to the ground. Once mastered. the whole foot can be lifted and multiple repetitions on the same side can be done. Although emphasis should be placed on stabilisation not balance. TRIMESTER Average Weight Gain: 1-2 pounds per week • Flexibility and strength exercises such as yoga, pilates 3 and stretching are still safe during the third trimester. • Kegel exercises should still be done during the third trimester. 27weeks-birth Flexibility and core stability exercises like yoga are great for the third trimester especially with relaxation. Moderate walking, swimming, rowing and low-impact aerobics are also suggested during the third trimester. Stability Ball Hip Hinge Assume a neutral position on a stability ball and cross your arms over your chest. Breathe in and relax the abdominals. Gently exhale and hollow the abdominals while leaning towards 3-5 inches (coming from the hips. not the spine), exhale and return to the upright seated position. Repetitions should be reduced towards the end of the third trimester. No abdominal work should be carried out and the focus should be on maintaining core stability, pelvic floors and tilt exercises. Remember, always listen to your body. The "talk test" is a great way to make sure you aren't overdoing it. If you can talk aloud without losing your breath while exercising, you're okay. ▪ Signs to stop exercising • Leaking of amniotic fluid (waters breaking) • Decreased foetal movement • Vaginal bleeding Dizziness or feeling faint • Pelvic pain • Persistent, severe headaches • Calf pain or swelling (possible sign of phlebitis which can result in thrombosis) • Persistent contractions • Dyspnoea (shortness of breath) Sources: HFE course material: "Ante and Postnatal Fitness Instructor - Level 3 Student Manual" Unity Point Health NHS hFe become Presented by more. ACOG

The Ultimate Guide to Prenatal Exercise

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Keeping healthy is important for both mother and baby during the pregnancy stages. This useful infographic offers useful exercise tips for expecting mothers across all three trimesters, including how ...

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