Taboos have always proliferated about whether or not sports should be practiced during pregnancy or to what extent it is good to do so. However, unless the doctor tells us otherwise, we not only can, but should move at least 30 minutes every day.
It has been shown that exercising during pregnancy reduces the risk of developing hypertension or gestational diabetes, in addition to reducing the chances of having a cesarean delivery and suffering from lower back and pelvic pain.
Personal trainer Angélica Solana, from the Gympass platform, lists the seven best exercises to do during pregnancy and the benefits they provide for physical and mental well-being.
Pilates: strengthens the pelvic floor and improves breathing
Pilates is one of the most recommended practices during the pregnancy period, it helps to treat postural alterations and strengthens the abdominal wall and the pelvic floor. It is a low-impact sport and does not pose any risk to the baby, it also helps control breathing, which is why it is recommended as preparation for childbirth.
“During pregnancy, body and back pain are very common, so practicing pilates helps a lot to combat them,” explains trainer Angélica Solana. In addition, it contributes to relaxation and better sleep, which makes it a highly recommended exercise also for postpartum, as it speeds up recovery.
Swimming: to get more elasticity
Swimming is another of the most beneficial practices during pregnancy. “Practicing it thirty minutes a day is enough. The main advantage of swimming during pregnancy is that the water allows greater freedom of movement”, explains Solana. Among the best known benefits are: relaxation of overloaded areas of the body, weight control, improvement of the cardiovascular system and muscle toning.
As far as the proper postures for swimming in the water are concerned, the only one not recommended for pregnant women is the upside-down butterfly swim , but you can practice backstroke, front crawl and breaststroke swimming, which is also Highly recommended in months 6 and 7 of pregnancy. Even so, specialist doctors recommend not performing swimming exercises in pregnant women from the 8th month of gestation, because during this period there is a risk that the mucous plug will be lost involuntarily.
Aquagym: to fight back pain
Aquagym is a very complete sport and practicing it in the water prevents a strong impact, so pregnant women can benefit from combining it with swimming. “These classes of up to 50 minutes long work the entire lower and upper body, helping to achieve greater flexibility and mobility.” If done correctly and with the support of specialized professionals, aquagym contributes to a better physical shape and promotes good health.
Women who practice it will relieve their lower back pain , stimulate the circulatory system, increase muscle performance and flexibility, and lose weight.
Weight training: to strengthen our body
Weight training is a safe exercise during the first trimester of pregnancy, it is a way to keep your muscles strong and stay in shape, but you should always train under the direction of a trained professional. The objective is to carry out an easy routine, without carrying excessive weight, with exercises to strengthen the legs, arms and back.
CORE’s work mainly helps combat lumbar pain and improve lumbo-pelvic functionality; “But you have to already have a good technique when performing the exercises so as not to injure yourself or get the opposite effect,” says the personal trainer. “Also, it is good that the intensity is moderate and not much weight is used, especially when the pregnancy is more advanced.” In this sense, sports should be avoided in cases of high temperature and humidity, since pregnant women suffer more from the heat, yet another reason why hydration is essential.
Yoga: benefits for mother and baby
Yoga is another of the most common practices during pregnancy and one of the most recommended, it has extensive benefits not only for the mother, but for the baby as well.
Its practice improves immune function and helps reduce stress levels, it also reduces depressive symptoms, decreases back pain, nausea and headaches, improves sleep quality and strengthens the connection with your baby, thanks to breathing and body awareness.
Running for the most expert
“If you go running during your pregnancy, you have to keep in mind that then it will not be about pushing limits as much as exercising having a good time. Running during pregnancy is recommended for those who have already practiced it before and can follow this routine, but at a lower level”.
During the first trimester we can run normally if our body allows it, as we enter the second trimester we have to lower the intensity and run about 15 minutes a day at a medium pace, since the joints can suffer more due to the extra weight of the baby. During the third trimester it is not recommended to go running and this practice should be replaced by others where there is not a high cardiovascular effort, such as yoga or pilates.
One point to keep in mind when doing impact sports or sports that involve jumping during pregnancy, such as running, is its effect on the pelvic floor . It is advisable to go to an expert to check and ensure that the pelvic floor is not being damaged and, in the same way, carry out a preventive task to strengthen the pelvic floor before, during and after pregnancy .
Stretching: body stretches
“Before running, it is recommended to do mobility exercises and gentle stretching, but you can also choose to do a stretching routine every day to avoid the stiffness that we can fall into after spending so many hours sitting.” Although stretching does not seem like a sport as such, since it basically consists of warming up the body before actually training and reducing the risk of injury, the truth is that it is a very important activity in itself. Some of the most common stretches are: head and neck, waist, arms and shoulders, and legs and feet.
Practicing these exercises improves flexibility and releases tension in the muscles; “It is good to do them after exercising and also establish it as a daily routine,” says Angélica Solana, a personal trainer associated with Gympass.