Doing some exercise during pregnancy is very good for both the body and the mind. The midwife tells us about the exercises useful during pregnancy that can also be performed at home
Useful exercises in pregnancy
The idea that an active life during pregnancy is synonymous with the well-being of both mother and baby is becoming increasingly popular. And this is also supported by scientific evidence: exercise during pregnancy helps muscle toning, improves circulation and breathing and therefore the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the baby; it also prevents the onset of pregnancy pathologies such as gestational diabetes and pressure pathologies and last but not least, it keeps the mood elevated.
Clearly everything must be done with knowledge of the facts, some of them useful exercises in pregnancy others may be performed, it is better to avoid them to avoid overload. Excessive sport, especially in non-professional women, can cause more harm than good. There are specialized figures in the organization of courses or personal training for pregnant women, it is always better to rely on them to structure a program. Here I can give you some indications, some very simple exercises, valid both for mothers who have never played sports and for athletes.
Pregnancy exercises to do at home
To exercise it is not necessary to enroll in a gym or a course, you can easily do exercises from home with the few objects we have available. What you need is: a mat, sneakers, water and then … sofa, chairs, closed water bottles, bed, etc. Clearly during pregnancy they will not train the abdominals, or rather, not in the traditional way. We can focus on limbs, back, and perineum essential for a balanced body structure during childbirth (including caesarean). Let’s now give some examples of exercises that can be done at home using two closed whole bottles and a chair.
- To train the arms in fact, it will be easy to use the two bottles as weights: with the bottle in hand, slowly bend and extend the elbow 10 times. Always holding the bottle in your hand and your arms extended at your sides, raise your arms up to shoulder height and slowly return downwards, again 10 times. Biceps and shoulders will thank you
- The chair we can use it as a support to train the legs and buttocks: squat (squat) with both legs or with one of the two legs. But leg jumps forward, sideways or back are also a great way to exercise your lower body.
Exercises for not gaining weight
Let’s open a fundamental parenthesis, during pregnancy it is impossible not to gain weight. Or rather, it is impossible not to gain weight. This is due to the simple fact that the baby has a weight, that the placenta has a weight and that the amniotic fluid has a weight. So try to do extreme diets and not indicated by a doctor, or of losing weight is useless and indeed harmful to the health of mother and baby. Those who start from an overweight / obesity condition may be able to control weight gain, but women of normal weight should not do this in any way. There may be some exercises to avoid accumulating excess fluids, or to control the growth of fat mass. For example, a great way is the pool, swimming helps to drain excess fluids especially on the legs, thanks to the skin massage performed by the water. Also there fast walking, Nordic walking (walking with sticks) can be useful because they are total body, and slightly cardio, i.e. they increase the heart rate and therefore accelerate the metabolism.
The back is known, it is one of the painful points of pregnancy, we are often subjected to lower back pain, sciatic pain etc. etc. Surely the back musculature is a musculature that can be trained during pregnancy and can also be done with a free body, ie without weights. Here are some exercises.
The cat: pilates exercise in the quadruped position. It involves arching your back upward while inhaling to your maximum and exhaling arching it in the other direction to your maximum.
- Lateral twists of the back. Lying on one side, rotate the upper arm and head towards the side opposite the legs and remain in position, breathing a few seconds
Shoulder bridge: bridge on the back. This exercise is more difficult for mothers with a big belly but you can try it anyway. Starting supine, raise the pelvis from the ground to its maximum while exhaling, and inhaling you return to position.
Pelvic / perineum floor exercises
In recent years it has been rediscovered the importance of also training this muscles both during pregnancy and outside to prevent incontinence and sexual dysfunctions. Furthermore, training the pelvic floor means ensuring good awareness and ability to manage the muscles during labor and delivery. The most famous and simple exercises that can be done to train the pelvic floor are the Kegel exercises. They are simple exercises of contraction and relaxation repeated of the muscles of the pelvic area. They can be done in all positions: I contract the muscles for 5 minutes, release and rest for 10 seconds. Clearly doing this type of exercise makes sense if we are aware of what the pelvic floor is and how it works. For this reason it is useful to do other exercises first, for example the Hipopressive gymnastics. This type of gymnastics at a very very basic level helps to perceive the pelvic floor and its way of working.
Here is an example of an exercise:
I inhale and exhale the letter S (only the sound s) and listen to what happens in the pelvic floor area. I repeat the same thing with the syllable SC (like sci) and with the letter f (only the sound of the letter not “eff”) By becoming aware of this, you can then start working on toning first and then relaxing in view of childbirth