Exercising has been linked to provide many benefits for pregnant mothers, and from a TCM perspective, exercising can improve Qi and Blood circulation which will aid in blood flowing to the uterus for your baby’s growth. While there could be worriess that exercise might cause complications or miscarriage, avoid doing high impact exercises, exercise that causes additional stress or put further strains on your pelvis and torso, it is relatively safe for you to exercise.
If you are unsure about your exercise plan, you can always consult your gynae if the exercise you are planning to do is safe for your pregnancy. However, there are some exercises or sports we will recommend to avoid during pregnancy.
Exercise to avoid
- High impact or intensity (HIIT)
- High risk of falling (Gymnastic, Parkour)
- Increase stress and pressure on pelvis and torso (Heavy Weight lifting, Mountain biking)
For starters who didn’t have the habit of exercising and decided that you should do it for your baby. You can start by exercising 10-30 minutes per day and 2 days a week, and build up the number of days and duration per day as your body gets stronger for longer duration exercises.
- Improve Qi and Blood flow
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Improve your sleep
There are various low impact exercises that you can consider to include in your exercise plan. These are relatively low-risk and helpful for mothers during their pregnancy.
An important benefit of Kegels is that it can help strengthen your muscles in your pelvic and vaginal area without overstretching it. These muscle strengthening will also help you during your labor and minimize Postpartum symptoms such as incontinence, Postpartum depression and even constipation. You can do 3 sets of Kegel exercise per day and increase the quantity and duration of each set.
- Strengthen your pelvic floor muscle
- Better urinary bladder control
- Improvement of fecal incontinence
- Aid in smoother labor
Here’s how you do the Kegel!
- Tighten the right muscles and hold for 3 – 5 seconds
- Relax for 5 seconds before repeating
- Repeat steps 1 & 2 for 10 times to complete a set.
There are a lot of wonders when it comes to prenatal yoga, as it’s nature of increasing your flexibility, strength and endurance of your muscles, it also focuses a lot on breathing which helps in keeping you calm and improves your mental wellness.
- Breathing techniques that can keep you calm
- Aid you with the contraction during your labor
- Improve your balance and flexibility
- Strengthen your muscle and improve your motion flexibility
- Get to your inner calm and self-awareness
Tips on Prenatal Yoga
- Consult your doctor on before starting a prenatal yoga program
- Don’t over do it, over exert yourself.
- Do it in a well-ventilated space
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water
- Avoid certain postures that you feel uncomfortable
Walking is a wonderful way to stay fit during pregnancy, and definitely one of the simplest exercises you can do and there are a lot of benefits to it. First of all, it improves your Qi and Blood circulation as it works your heart, lungs and blood vessels during the exercise.
It also strengthens your muscles and improves your metabolism to reduce your back pain, improves your fitness and helps you maintain a healthy weight gain during your pregnancy. You can also improve your bowel movement to minimise constipation.
- Improve muscle strengths
- Reduce back pain
- Maintain a healthy weight gain
- Boost Qi and Blood circulation
- Minimise constipation
- Improves your mood and energy level
- Helps you to sleep better
Walking Exercise Tips
- Wear good walking shoe for better support
- Bring a water bottle to keep yourself hydrated
- Don’t overdo the walk
- Take breaks when needed
- Walk with you partner or a friend
The sense of weightlessness provided by water relieves the general discomforts associated with pregnancy, and it is the perfect environment for a mother-to-be to both relax and exercise. This is very significant when you reach your 3rd trimester when the weight gain starts to put more pressure on you.
You will also be able to have a better sleep during the night after spending some time in the pool. It also provides stress and pain relief when you are in water, and it can be a great and relaxing moment when you take time off for yourself.
- Low impact exercise
- Strengthen core muscles
- Relieve some weight pressure on your body
- Improve Qi and blood flow
- Ensure the water is not too warm above 39°C
- Swim in moderation and don’t tire yourself out in the waters
- Swim at the outer lanes or close to where you can get support or help
- Start at a more comfortable water depth