Exercises you should do during pregnancy

Lander says that in addition to the heart muscle, pregnant women should concentrate on exercises that strengthen the muscles of the back, pelvis and abdomen.

The back: Strengthening the back muscles and doing exercises to improve posture will minimise the strain of pregnancy on the lower back, as a result of weight gain and shifting of the centre of gravity. It will also reduce the discomfort experienced throughout pregnancy.

The pelvis: Strengthening the pelvic muscles will permit the vagina to widen more during childbirth. This will prevent urinary complications after delivery.

The stomach: Strengthening the abdominal muscles will make it easier to support the increasing weight of the baby. It will also provide the pregnant woman with more strength during the last phase of delivering.  By strengthening the deep abdominal muscles responsible for posture and lower back stability, pregnant women are able to reduce the size of the diastasis (separation of the rectus abdominus muscle) that occurs during pregnancy.

“Some of the best exercises for pregnant women are stationery cycling, walking, swimming, and Kegal exercises, including Pilates and yoga. Walking is a good way to begin an exercise programme, especially if previously unaccustomed to exercise. Swimming is also an excellent form of exercise, as the water is able to support your weight, and it’s various properties allows you to tone and strengthen many different muscles.

“Kegal exercises are designed to improve muscle tone and increase your control of the pelvic floor muscles,” she says.

What exercises did you do while pregnant?

Read more on exercising while pregnant:

Exercising for two

Exercise guidelines for moms-to-be

Benefits of exercising during pregnancy

Exercises you should do during pregnancy

Exercise guidelines: what you need to know

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