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  • You Can Stay Active While Pregnant And Stuck Indoors

    Medical experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week.
    by Jocelyn Valle .
You Can Stay Active While Pregnant And Stuck Indoors
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  • Unless you’re having a delicate pregnancy and your doctor tells you to avoid physical activity, staying active while heavy with child is highly recommended. You need not worry about having less workout options during this time of COVID-19 pandemic because there are pregnancy exercises at home that you can always try.

    Benefits of exercise during pregnancy

    Aside from feeling and looking good due to the released endorphins while sweating it out, medical experts say you get a lot of help battling discomfort caused by several pregnancy symptoms.

    • Relief from backaches and bad posture by strengthening and toning muscles in your back, butt, and thighs
    • Improvement in digestive functions that affect constipation, stomachache, and bloating
    • Protection of joints that loosen up while undergoing hormonal changes
    • Strengthening of the heart and blood vessels
    • Maintenance of a healthy weight
    • Possible prevention against gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and Caesarean delivery
    • Preparation of the body for childbirth and post-delivery

    How often you should exercise

    Pregnant women must get at least 150 minutes or 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). You may achieve this by doing 30-minute workouts on five days of the week or spread it out in 10 minutes throughout each day.

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    Aerobic activity means doing something that enables the large muscles in the body, such as those in the legs and arms, to move in rhythmic way. You’ll know that you’ve reached the moderate intensity level when your heart rate rises and you start sweating.

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    If you’ve always been physically active even before getting pregnant, you can continue your usual workouts with approval from your doctor. But if you’re not used to working out, the medical experts recommend to start out slowly, even just five minutes a day, and then gradually increase your activity until you reach 30 minutes of exercise in a day.

    What you can do indoors to stay active

    When the pandemic started in March 2020 and staying indoors became the norm, fitness buffs Iya Villania, Max Collins, and Coleen Garcia continued their pregnancy exercise routine at home until they gave birth later that year.

    You can do the same by trying any or several of these physical activities recommended by health and wellness experts.

    Walking

    Brisk walking is considered as a total body workout that is also easy on the joints and muscles. But you can still benefit from walking around your house or, if you have one, a garden. You can add a few stretching here and there. The idea is to keep moving.

    Yoga teacher Johnna Villaviray Giolagon points out, “Having a sedentary lifestyle is not advised for pregnant women any more than it is to anyone of us.”

    Yoga

    Johnna wasn’t into yoga yet when she was pregnant with her two children, who are now 11 and 16 years old. But she did a few stretching exercises that she found out later on, when she starting practicing the body and mind practice, were actually yoga poses.

    Looking back now, she tells SmartParenting.com.ph, “These poses were helpful in relieving aches and pains brought about by pregnancy and the lack of physical activity.”

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    She then gives this piece of advice to moms-to-be: “What you might need to avoid while pregnant are activities that can make you to lose balance or requires quick, jerky movements.” (Read more about prenatal yoga here.)

    Tai Chi

    Tai chi is an ancient form of meditation that involves slow but strengthening movements. You can find online resources, including 10-minute videos, to get you started with tai chi. You don’t need a lot of space as you’ll be standing and moving around the same spot.

    Weightlifting

    One good way to increase your muscle tone is by lifting weights. Just go for more reps using a lower weight than usual. If you don't have your own set of dumbbells, you can use water bottles of 1 or 2 liters filled with fluids. You can also do this while watching TV or streaming movies.

    Dancing and aerobics

    You may join online dance and aerobic classes to have more fun with your pregnancy exercise at home. This will entice you more to move and sweat it out. (For more on pregnancy exercise, read here.)

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