Put yourself at ease by protecting those you love
21 August 2017
Changes in a woman’s body during pregnancy can make it easy for some to fall into the trap of a slow lifestyle. After all, if there’s ever a reason to lounge around, it would be that there is a human is growing inside her body. But, pregnancy should not be an excuse. It should be the motivation.
Benefits: One of the main benefits of yoga while pregnant is that it increases flexibility. The body accommodates the growth of the baby, often leading to aches and creaky joints. Keeping muscles loose and limber can help lessen discomfort. Another bonus is that yoga is a great way to keep the body centered and relaxed – two things a woman would want to be when she’s about to give birth.
Work out at home: Try the Cow and Cat yoga poses, which relieve tension in the back. You need get down on your hands and knees. As you inhale, the back should arch and the head tilts up to look at the ceiling. Upon exhaling, you should round out your back like a stretching cat while gently looking down again.
Benefits: Pilates is a great way to build strength, especially around the core, back and pelvic area. These regions are some of the most overworked parts of the body when pregnant, because they support the weight of the baby. Making them stronger is key to coping with this added strain. Like yoga, pilates also helps with focus and breathing, which are skills that can be useful during delivery.
Work out at home: Strengthen the hips and thighs using the hip and thigh opener. You should lie down on your side with both your legs bent. The top leg should be lifted, while maintaining the form. Core strength should be used to keep the hips steady. Repeat the exercise on the other side.
Benefits: Inspired by ballet, Barre workouts emphasize low-impact movements that build up stamina. Modifications can be done to make the workout apt during pregnancy to help maintain a healthy weight. Since the workouts can increase the heartrate, it is a great way to build up endurance. Labor and delivery can be quite strenuous, so having a reservoir of energy definitely helps.
Work out at home: Start in a kneeling position with the knees about six inches apart. With a weight on each hand, lift both arms forward to shoulder height. Lower the hands slowly. Lift the left arm forward again while the right hand lifts to the side, forming an L shape. Repeat the lift with both arms facing forward. Then lift the right hand forward while the left hand moves to the side.
Before starting on any exercise routine, an important caveat: make sure it’s safe. Some medical conditions, such as placenta previa, can make it risky for women to exercise while pregnant. Women should first clear their plans for physical activity with their doctor as well as inform the instructor of their pregnancy.
Angela Perez-Rubio Palanca, a certified pre-and post-natal exercise specialist by the American Fitness Professionals and Associates, also cautions against working out too much. “Limit fitness intensity to moderate. When you can no longer carry a conversation, you know you are pushing too hard.”
When done properly, health and fitness is an investment to having a more comfortable pregnancy. Even simple routines such as walking around the neighborhood or doing a few stretches at home can go a long way into creating an experience where pregnancy means energy up and body strong.
Yoga and Pilates classes are offered at Gold’s Gym branches. Gold’s Gym has 32 locations all over the Philippines.
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