— These pregnancy exercise videos will help you stay fit during pregnancy!
The reasons to be active and exercise throughout your pregnancy are many – your weight gain can remain under control, you keep yourself and your unborn baby healthy and it makes for an easier delivery as well.
There are exercises that are safe to perform throughout pregnancy and others which could become difficult or are inadvisable as your pregnancy proceeds. We take a look at exercises to be performed during pregnancy.
The First Trimester
In general, exercises that carry risk of injury, such as contact sport, skiing, horse riding, mountain climbing, scuba diving, etc. should be avoided. Also avoid getting overheated because this is seen to deflect blood flow away from the developing baby.
This pregnancy exercise video talks about general pregnancy exercise do’s and don’ts, and the importance of good hydration and wearing a good bra. It speaks about the importance of working out whether you are a fitness freak or have had a sedentary life. This video shows the woman performing abdominal crunches here; but this exercise is disputed during pregnancy; with many experts advising against these.
This video demonstrates Kegel exercises which help to strengthen pelvic floor muscles and the premium; prevents stress incontinence and also will help at the time of the delivery. This exercise is safe to perform throughout pregnancy and beyond. Although this video is not specific to pregnancy, it demonstrates how Kegel’s exercises are to be performed and which muscles are used for it.
Yoga is an excellent exercise discipline to follow through pregnancy. Though head and hand stands are not appropriate, there are many yoga poses and moves for pregnancy that will help the muscles stay toned and help pregnant women stay fit and limber throughout pregnancy.
Another reason that prenatal yoga may be a great choice during pregnancy, is that you may feel tired and fatigued during the first trimester and may not want to do brisk walking or other aerobic activity.
Yoga also promotes relaxation, which is important if you find yourself feeling moody or weepy during the first few months of pregnancy. This pregnancy exercise video offers you instruction on simple yoga positions that are safe to perform during the first trimester and later as well. Take yourself through this simple video to perform poses along with their breathing instructions and see if yoga is the exercise that is correct for your pregnancy.
If you do decide that yoga is the way to go for you during pregnancy; it may be worth your while watching this video which is a one hour instruction on pregnancy yoga including Pranayam for pregnancy. Though the video is not in English it is worth the effort of watching the exercises which you can then emulate.
Swimming is recommended as excellent pregnancy exercise, which is safe and keeps you from getting over heated as well. It is low impact and the water buoys you up keeping you from feeling clumsy or heavy. This video shows some pregnancy stretches, so called Aqua Yoga for pregnancy.
Core exercises are important during pregnancy. This video delineates a short 10 minute workout that is suitable for all three trimesters. These pregnancy exercises help to strengthen the abdominal and back muscles, lessening the chances of developing back strain or pain.
The Second Trimester
Now that the second trimester has started, one may typically be feeling more energetic and able to engage in more active forms of exercise. Keep in mind that it is not a good idea to lie on your back for any length of time after your first trimester.
The walkers may continue with their brisk walking as an excellent exercise to perform all throughout pregnancy (while taking care never to overdo it), but here are some other options for your second trimester:
Though yoga is recommended, and may even aid in relaxation, for many women it may be time consuming to perform or it does not fit in with their idea of exercising. Also many women want to be rather more active and would prefer to perform cardio and weights exercises.
Whatever exercises you choose to perform during your pregnancy, it is a good idea to start with some warm up exercises that can help to stretch muscles and also get the blood flowing. Appropriate stretches help to tone muscles and also prevent injuries such as tears etc.
You may want to target specific parts of the body during your pregnancy. This video for instance offers options for toning and exercising the lower body muscles doing gentle lunges and wall squats using an exercise ball.
The back and butt are areas that you would want to target in your pregnancy exercise routine. This video shows how the back and the butt muscles can be targeted during pregnancy. Toning the back muscles is very important, because right about now, pregnant women find backache and pain becoming problems due to their expanding belly.
This video explains the sort of exercises you can do to target your shoulders and obliques using dumbbells and an exercise ball.
Here are some pregnancy ab exercises, which you should specifically clear with your doctor before performing because some people are of the view that ab exercises are not a good idea during pregnancy. Also note that in the video the pregnant woman is not lying flat on her back (which is not advisable for any length of time after the first trimester) but is propped up on a ball and her own elbows.
A mention here about nutrition during pregnancy which is also hugely important for the mom and her growing baby. This video offers tips about how much extra nutrition the pregnant woman needs and what are the things she should ideally be eating and the importance of remaining well hydrated. Important nutrition do’s and don’ts during pregnancy are presented in this video.
The Third Trimester
This is the final stretch of your pregnancy and you are feeling many of the aches and discomforts that the later stages of pregnancy bring. It is important to continue being active during this time as well (unless advised against this by doctors for medical reasons). We explore options such as Pilates, relaxation techniques, Watsu, pregnancy massage, etc.
Pilates is another excellent pregnancy exercise, particularly in the later stages of the last trimester. At this stage you may find yourself getting fatigued more easily and aerobic activity may become more difficult as your belly grows larger. You can add these Pilates moves to a regular fitness routine and perform them throughout the pregnancy. These can help even after the baby arrives.
Relaxation is very important now in the third trimester both physically and mentally since you are now likely to feel mounting tension at the upcoming rigors or childbirth. Physical relaxation is also important to keep your body and muscles limber and non stressed. This video demonstrates many relaxation techniques you may find interesting.
Pregnancy massage is something that may invite mixed reactions; one may wonder about the safety and efficacy of this. In fact it can help with aches and pains, swelling, relaxation etc. However, as long as the pregnant woman is properly positioned, (on the side with a pillow under the belly is the recommended position) you can take pointers about massage from this pregnancy exercise video.
As you near the end of your term and your due date, you may want to start preparing yourself mentally and physically for the labor and childbirth.
Since being in water is low impact and relaxing for pregnant women, the concept of ‘Watsu’ (aqua therapy and Shiatsu combined) may be a great idea. It is rather like yoga in water; Watsu may help to relieve discomfort associated with pregnancy as shown in this video.
Nearing the end of a pregnancy, a woman may well become impatient about wanting to get the process of childbirth over and done with and may be looking for natural ways to bring on the start of labor.
Methods such as massage, acupuncture, acupressure, sexual intercourse, nipple stimulation, walking and mild exercise may not be medically proven but some women as well as doctors do recommend them.