Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses on breathing and controlled body movements. It promotes relaxation and strengthens the deep muscles of your abdomen. This is not a strenuous form of exercise and can be done easily at home. For better results, however, you might need to hire an instructor.
Benefits of Pilates in Pregnancy
Pilates can help a woman all through pregnancy and after childbirth, too. This movement therapy is easy to perform and has no health risks. It can help you recover your body shape after birth and includes assistive breathing and body alignment. Some of the benefits are discussed below:
1. Strengthening the abdominal and pelvic cavity
As it has been established that Pilates strengthen abdominal muscles, it balances the weakness that develops due to lax ligaments. During pregnancy, a hormone called ‘relaxin’ is released that causes relaxation of various ligaments in the body rendering the abdominal and pelvic cavity weak. Pilates can help you fill this gap.
2. Avoiding backache
Pain in the back is a very common complain of pregnant women. This is due to weight gain and increase in the size of the abdomen. Strengthening abdominal and vertebral muscles can help with this problem. This also helps in quick and safe delivery. Furthermore, Pilates make the muscles of your pelvic cavity stronger, which helps against incontinence (inability to control urination) during and after pregnancy.
What sorts of exercises Pilates include?
Pilates is basically stretching exercise that increases the tone and strength of your muscles. It can be done by people of all ages. It is safe in pregnancy as it does not put undue stress on the body. It increases your stamina and prepares you for labor and childbirth. Pilates has its own special apparatuses, but simple home items like cushions, etc. can also be used. Pregnant women can perform these exercises either sitting straight or lying down on either side. For pregnant mothers these are simple leg raising and pushing exercises. It is important that you hire a certified Pilates instructor who specializes in training of pregnant women if you know nothing about Pilates. As with any exercise program, check with your doctor to make sure it is safe for you.