The importance of exercising adequately before and after giving birth is something you should not underestimate. Besides good food decisions, exercising is crucial for building your bones and muscles’ stamina and strength. Furthermore, regular workouts are an essential stress-relief activity for women and, of course, their babies. For this reason, in this article, we will explore the best prenatal and postnatal workouts. They will ensure both you and your baby are healthy and happy.
What should I avoid when doing prenatal workouts?
Luckily, there are not many workouts that can compromise your baby’s health during pregnancy. In fact, as your pregnancy progresses, slight modifications to your current workout regimen are essential for gaining more strength, balance, and stability.
First and foremost, do not introduce a new workout before discussing it with your doctor. This is especially important if you have any kind of chronic health condition. By skipping this step, you could be putting yourself and your child in danger without even knowing it!
Also, most normal workouts involve movements that might not be suitable for your condition or current fitness level. If you are inexperienced when it comes to exercising, you might want to hire a professional fitness instructor. Preferably one specializing in prenatal workouts. By doing this, you will always be in the clear as to the safety of the workout, its efficiency, and difficulty.
Aside from the mentioned, also try to:
Stay hydrated at all times
Wear a supportive belly band and sports bra for comfort
Avoid workouts that can make you overheat (hot yoga, for example)
Avoid workouts that require you to lie down on your back for too long (especially in your third trimester!)
Eat healthy, nutritious meals rich in pregnancy superfoods that will help you power through each trimester.
What should I avoid when doing postnatal workouts?
After giving birth, you will probably be eager to implement the best workout routine for a flat stomach. Going back to the pre-pregnancy weight as soon as possible is what most women look forward to. However, the general consensus is that you should not exercise at least 4-8 weeks after delivery.
On the other hand, some obstetricians believe that you can go back to working out gradually. So, low-impact postpartum exercises are fine if you feel ready for them. However, the recovery period after birth differs from woman to woman. Be sure to listen to your body. Stop if you experience bright red bleeding after working out. This is a sure-fire sign your body has not fully recovered yet.
This is why you need to plan your workout routine after you give birth carefully. Typically, it’s best to avoid any sports, workouts, or activities involving crunches for at least five months after childbirth. Most people do crunches improperly and in excessive amounts, especially when working out on their own. The best postnatal workouts aim to stabilize the pelvis and midsection rather than strain these regions.
Best prenatal and postnatal workouts
Swimming is one of the best prenatal and postnatal workouts for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is a great way to engage all the joints and muscles in your body, regardless of your fitness level or strength. As you probably already know, your joints can start to hurt as your baby grows. Since swimming does not put pressure on the joints, this workout is perfect for all women dealing with joint pain due to pregnancy weight gain or other reasons.
Additionally, it is hard to go overboard and hurt yourself when swimming. Since water makes you feel weightless, you will likely feel extremely calm and relaxed after participating in this activity. You will probably appreciate it most in the 2nd and 3rd trimester when your baby’s body weight increases considerably.
If you run as part of your workout routine, you can continue doing it during and after pregnancy. Since your baby is completely safe while you run, this type of workout is perfect for improving your general fitness level as well as the health of your heart and lungs. If you are not used to running, then brisk walking or jogging might be a better prenatal and postnatal workout for you.
Note that you might feel more tired than usual during your routine running or jogging sessions as you enter the third trimester. For this reason, be careful not to push yourself too hard. You do not want to fall or injure yourself or your baby while exercising. Therefore, listen to your body and always make sure to have enough rest during the day.
Yoga and Pilates
Yoga and Pilates are low-impact workouts, which is why many pregnant women swear by them. Most also enjoy them because they help strengthen the muscles in the body evenly. In fact, yoga and Pilates are terrific for strengthening your pelvic floor and core muscles, both of which are essential during delivery.
Yoga, in particular, is an excellent workout because it involves plenty of controlled stretching while doing different asanas or positions. Stretching is important and beneficial for releasing tension from your body and muscles during and after your pregnancy. It’s worth mentioning that pregnancy stretches can help you carry out your pregnancy with ease.
Additionally, yoga and Pilates can help manage sleep, metabolism, and digestion. The key to strengthening your body’s overstretched and tired muscles after childbirth is to keep a good form while performing the exercises’ movements. Although this is not easy, it is imperative to pay attention to your posture and technique. Luckily, you can attend many specialized yoga or Pilates courses. This way, you can rest assured you are doing your prenatal and postnatal workouts correctly and safely.