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Unusual benefits of usual exercises

Kusum Kanojia , New Delhi, Feb 28, 2013

Stay Fit

Being pregnant does is no excuse to gain weight, except at your belly, and to skip exercise. Staying fit and doing exercises is of far more importance for to-be-moms. It leads to a flexible body and a healthy delivery. Former Miss Universe and Bollywood actress Lara Dutta, during her pregnancy, continued with her gym and yoga workouts, modifying them to suit her pregnant state.

Doctors say that all pregnant women must indulge into some breathing exercises, stretching exercises and yoga as they help strengthen the muscles, build endurance,     better growth of the child and prepare the body to cope with the aches and pains of pregnancy. Mother who exercise tend to have shorter labours and are less likely to need medical interventions during labour.

The safest and most productive exercises for pregnant women are  brisk walking, indoor stationary cycling and low-impact aerobics, taught by a certified aerobics instructor.

“These activities carry little risk of injury, benefit your entire body and can be continued until birth. Even yoga can help ensure easier delivery. In the first trimester, standing yoga postures should be done as they help strengthen the leg muscles, improve circulation, increase energy and can also help reduce leg cramps,” says Dr Karuna Malhotra, a homeopath physician at Cosmetic Skin and Homeo Clinic.


Exercise during the pregnancy ensure that the child gets proper delivery of blood, oxygen and all the necessary nutrients. However, the duration of the exercise should not be more than 25 to 30 minutes.

Dr Asha Sharma, HoD, Gynaecology Department at Rockland Hospital, says women can do some yoga, light walk or slow walk in the evening, deep breathing exercises, some stretching exercises or kegel exercises. Choose exercises or activities that do not require great balance or coordination, especially in later part of pregnancy.

“Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. They help in complications during the delivery. Usually these forms of exercises should be done during second and third trimester. During first trimester, the baby is in the formation period and thus mother is suggested to not exercise during first three months,’ she says.

Though, it is completely safe to do light exercises and stretches during pregnancy, they should be done under the advice of a health expert.

“These exercises should only be done on the advice of a gynecologist and a proper physiotherapist who understands the correct way of doing it. Wrong exercises or even right exercises done in a wrong way will prove to be highly fatal for both the child and the mother. It might lead to premature rupture of the membrane, accidental hemorrhage, back pain or early labour,” she warns.

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