Exercises During Pregnancy 2Nd TrimesterDid you work out in your first trimester of pregnancy without any difficulties? Were you relieved of the morning sickness symptoms and other discomforts of early pregnancy? Continue with your regular exercises during pregnancy 2nd trimester and enjoy the benefits of good health.
In the second trimester of pregnancy, your baby bump becomes noticeable, and your body needs to support the growing baby. So, it becomes crucial to maintain your fitness regime in the second trimester of pregnancy. However, it is best to consult with your doctor to rule out any complications.
What Are the Benefits of Exercises for 2nd Trimester of Pregnancy?As an expecting mother, the best thing you can do is stay in good shape and be healthy. This will not only help you maintain good weight but also prepare you for the delivery. Here is a list of some of the benefits of exercises during pregnancy 2nd trimester:
- Improves body posture
- Reduces backache
- Maintains healthy weight gain during pregnancy
- Reduces the risk of gestational diabetes
- Lowers the risk of preeclampsia and C-section
- Eases constipation
- Reduces stress
- Improves sleep
- Increases energy levels
- Decreases fatigue
- Builds stamina for labour and delivery
- Improves overall fitness and eases other discomforts of the second trimester of pregnancy
What Are the Different Exercises During Pregnancy Second Trimester?Stick to your fitness routine from the first trimester and workout for about 20-30 minutes every day. If you are planning to increase the intensity of physical activities, discuss with your doctor first.
Do not try anything new at this stage of pregnancy. Unless you no more enjoy your regular workout sessions. You can follow one of the following exercises during second trimester of pregnancy:
WalkingWalking is one of the best and the simplest exercises for pregnancy in second trimester. Walk on even and flat surfaces to avoid any falls and accidents. Try and move your arms while brisk walking; this will strengthen your upper body and arms and improve your heart health.
If you were walking in the first three months of your gestation period, can increase the pace and time up to 30 minutes a day. Walk at least for 3-5 days a week. If you are comfortable, walk every day.
Jogging and RunningJogging and running are also excellent cardiovascular exercises during pregnancy 2nd trimester. However, you must jog or run slowly. Also, make sure that you run on a flat track at a leisure pace and avoid uneven surfaces. Slow running or jogging will improve your heartbeat, increase blood flow and strengthen your heart and body. Keep on with your running or jogging 3 days a week for about 30 minutes/ day.
YogaThe website of National Center for Biotechnology Information, US, reveals that practising yoga throughout the gestation period improves your pregnancy condition, labour and birth results. So, if you were practising yoga in the first trimester of pregnancy, continue to do so. Build strength, strengthen muscles, improve joint flexibility, reduce back pain and lower blood pressure. An improved breathing rhythm aids you in labour and delivery. Still, follow all the precautions listed while exercising in the first trimester of pregnancy and avoid lying on your back, hot yoga, headstands, backbends, abdomen twists or poses. You can practise yoga for 5 days a week of about 30 minutes/day.
SwimmingBuild your core strength with one of the best low-impact exercises during the second trimester. Swimming improves your heart health, builds muscles and reduces swelling in your hands, feet, arms and legs.
Stronger core muscles help you in labour and delivery. Yet, avoid abdomen twists.You can swim for around 30 minutes a day for 5 days/week.
CyclingIn this stage of pregnancy, switch to stationary cycling and avert any risk of fall. Riding a stationary bike is one of the best exercises during pregnancy 2nd trimester. As your baby grows and your belly swells, the centre of your gravity changes. So, improve muscle strength by riding a stationary bike and reduce the growing stress on your lower back. You can ride the cycle for 30 minutes a day for 5 days/week.
PilatesSpeak with your instructor and work out a modified plan of pilates during the second stage of pregnancy. These restrained Pilates classes are designed for expecting mothers with carefully chosen poses and exercises. Enhance your core strength, reduce lower back pain and improve balance. Follow the precautions and avoid lying on your back, abdominal twists and other risky moves Go for one session a week of about 30 minutes, including warm-up and cooling time.
Weight TrainingYou may do light weight training for strengthening your back and support the growing baby weight. However, it is best to ask your doctor before doing weight training.
Do not lift heavy weights or lie on your back. Make sureto warm-up your muscles before lifting weights and stretch before ending the session. This will ensure you do not have any tight muscles and cramps. Also, do not hold your breath while exercising.
Exercises to Be Avoided During Second TrimesterWhile you are expecting a child, avoid the following exercises in your second trimester:
- Rigorous workout
- Heavy weightlifting
- Holding your breath for too long
- Jumping, hopping, spinning and twisting
- Leg crunches
- Horse riding
- Boxing, cricket, basketball, football and other such sports where you may get hit in the abdomen
- Hot yoga
- Lying on your back
- Suba diving, surfing, skiing or water skiing
When to Stop Exercises During Pregnancy 2nd TrimesterRegardless of your fitness levels, you must watch out for the following warning signs and immediately stop exercising if you experience these symptoms:
- Vaginal discharge
- Painful uterus contractions
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Weakness in muscles or swelling on calf/feet
- Feeling hot and any other symptoms
Precautions While Exercising During Pregnancy 2nd TrimesterAccording to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, here are some of the precautions you must follow while exercising:
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes while exercising.
- Drink a lot of water and keep yourself hydrated throughout. Look out for signs of dehydration, such as yellowish or dark yellow urine, dizziness and a faster heartbeat.
- Take rest in between 2 sets.
- Avoid standing still for long spells. Standing for a long time can accumulate blood in your legs and feet and lower your blood pressure.
- Avoid lying on your back for long because the uterus may press the vein that returns blood to the heart and result in lower blood pressure.