Winter pregnancy: Safe exercises and cosy indoor workouts for expecting moms
Safe exercises during pregnancy in winter not only promote physical health but also contribute to emotional well-being. Here are tips by expert
Pregnancy is a transformative journey and navigating it during the winter months brings its own set of considerations hence, ensuring the safety and well-being of both the mother and the growing baby becomes paramount, making the choice of exercises crucial. Winter, with its chilly temperatures and unpredictable weather, necessitates a thoughtful approach to maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle for expectant mothers.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Priyanka Khanna, Senior Executive-Physiotherapist at Cloudnine group of Hospitals in New Delhi and Gurgaon, shared, “Safe exercises during pregnancy in winter not only promote physical health but also contribute to emotional well-being. Low-impact activities like prenatal yoga or swimming can provide the necessary cardiovascular benefits without putting undue stress on joints. Additionally, brisk walks in the winter air can be invigorating, provided one dresses warmly and pays attention to balance and stability.”
Stating that indoor workout ideas become particularly appealing on colder days when venturing outside might not be as enticing, she recommended, “Prenatal fitness classes, whether in-person or virtual, offer a supportive environment tailored to the unique needs of pregnant women. Strength training with light weights or resistance bands helps maintain muscle tone and stamina, essential for the physical demands of pregnancy and labor. Yoga, with its focus on breath, flexibility, and gentle movements, adapts well to indoor spaces and suits the needs of pregnant women. Prenatal yoga classes often incorporate poses that cater to the changing body, promoting relaxation and preparing the body for childbirth. Staying active indoors can also include activities like dancing or guided pregnancy workouts available online, ensuring variety and enjoyment in the exercise routine.”
In essence, the importance of safe exercises for pregnant women during winter lies in the holistic benefits they offer—physically, emotionally and mentally. Priyanka Khanna said, “By embracing a well-rounded approach to prenatal fitness, mothers-to-be can navigate the winter months with confidence, maintaining a healthy lifestyle that supports both their well-being and the well-being of their unborn child. Exercise plays a vital role in our lives at all stages of life. It means any bodily activity that helps to maintain physical fitness and overall health of the human being. Exercising is overall beneficial for all the age groups of people as it helps to alleviate stress, deal with mood swings, helps in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and to reduce weight.”
She revealed, “During pregnancy sometimes the body becomes insulin resistant and if it becomes diabetic, it is called gestational diabetes that usually automatically gets cured after pregnancy. Regular exercise can help to increase metabolism and therefore decrease insulin resistance and increase insulin sensitivity. There are various forms of exercises available for each age group and various interests. Winters is a period of staying indoors and makes people lazy to move a leg.” According to her, advantages of exercises during pregnancy are:
- Improves circulation.
- Improves mood swings.
- Better sleep
- Less physical discomfort
- Increased chances of having shorter and easier labor
- Improve oxygen transfer at placenta.
- Prevention of gestational related illnesses
There are various forms of prenatal workout that can suit your body and mood. Priyanka Khanna listed the various options you can choose from -
- Strength Training: This can be easily done indoors in case one feels too lazy to go outside in winters. Proper warm up before and after the exercises helps to prevent injuries. Dumbells, therabands and cuff weights can be used to add resistance and strengthening different muscle groups. Core strengthening can also be done to prevent episodes of backache. Pelvic floor strengthening should be done to avoid stress incontinence and prepare the pelvis for labor and delivery. Doing these in a comfort of your own home will be even more convenient for those colder days.
- Prenatal Yoga: It helps to improve your flexibility and keep your mind calm. Benefits of yoga include improving relaxation, increasing flexibility, improving blood circulation and helping the pregnant woman breathe properly during labor and delivery. Few of the asanas that can be done during pregnancy are tree pose, trikonasana, matsyasana, locust salabhasana, ardha matsendrasana etc. All the asanas should be done according the week of pregnancy and under supervision of a prenatal yoga therapist.
- Walking Indoors: Walking indoors, either brisk or normal walk is a very good way of starting your workout regime. You can start with 10 to 15 minutes of brisk walk or as your stamina allows and then gradually increase it to 30-45 minutes every day. It’s a good cardiovascular workout and you can do it with your loved ones, that ways spending good quality time with your loved ones.
- Gentle aerobic exercises: Mild to moderate aerobic workout can be done during pregnancy. It helps to lift your mood as dancing releases happy hormones in the body. Avoid jumping and any high impact movements. Aerobics with music is a great way to uplift mood and to deal with mood swings while strengthening the heart and lungs.
Exercises helps to keep the mind and body healthy and prevents excessive weight gain during pregnancy so indoor exercises helps to keep the mind and body healthy and prevents excessive weight gain during pregnancy so indoor exercises play a great role in solving the purpose.