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Dancing is an exciting way to keep you and your little one fit during pregnancy. Cardio has long been recommended for pregnant women, preferably half an hour a day, but the usual suggestions include boring exercises like walking and yoga. In contrast, dance is a fun alternative to keep you fit, limber and reduce your stress during this difficult time. Just put on your favourite jams and groove to the beats. Here is all you need to know about dancing during pregnancy, from types and benefits to precautionary measures.
Is It Safe to Dance during Pregnancy?
Can dancing while pregnant hurt the baby? The short answer is no. Pregnancy requires that you take it easy, but not so easy that you skip exercises altogether. Dancing for short periods of time every day is completely safe, but only if your doc has given you the go-ahead to perform cardio. It is ideal to pick a less vigorous style of dance that has very little jumping and darting about.
Types of Dance forms You can try When Pregnant
Try finding a dance class specially designed for pregnant women. However, you can also do it at home if you so prefer. Here are a few dance forms you can attempt:
- Dancing during pregnancy first trimester affords you choices like jazz and samba, but these styles become tricky later in the pregnancy.
- Belly dancing during pregnancy is preferred as it employs unhurried controlled motions that strengthen your abdominal and back muscles.
- Ballroom dancing sounds complicated, but it can help you lower your resting heart rate.
- Please avoid dance styles that have a lot of movements and lifts like Bharatanatyam, ballet and hip-hop, as they could lead to overheating, pulled muscles and so on.
Benefits of Dancing in Pregnancy
Pregnancy dance workouts offer loads of advantages for both you and your unborn child. Some of them are:
- Improved flexibility that will help you deal with the growing weight of your body as well as your foetus through the pregnancy.
- Higher stamina levels, so you don’t feel tired or fatigued as often, which in turn improves mood and reduces the likelihood of depressive symptoms.
- Dancing can reduce the amount of stress and anxiety by stimulating the production of endorphins.
- Reduced risk of going through a troubled delivery, such as protracted labour or the need for caesarean surgery.
- Improves muscle tone, strengthening the limbs and alleviating the leg and backaches that come with pregnancy.
- Enhances the functioning of the heart and lungs by improving the circulation of blood.
- It is the perfect alternative for someone who does not frequent the gym or is uninterested in the usual exercises.
- Dancing can be done anywhere and at any time, allowing you the freedom to choose how you want to do it.
- Dancing can help with bloating by easing the release of any accumulated gas in the bowels.
- It can slow down weight gain, a common pregnancy problem that sometimes leads to complications.
- Dancing reduces the risks of developing pregnancy conditions such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
Pregnancy is usually not the right time to experiment with your body. However, dance offers the same benefits as a cardio workout with reduced risks. Nevertheless, there are few precautions to consider before you start:
- Pay Attention To Your Body
Human bodies are usually tolerant to a wide range of stresses, but pregnancy imposes several limitations. It is important that you keep an eye out for any symptoms like feeling faint, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding during or after your dance workouts.
2. Don’t Skimp On Nutrition
Make sure you consume a balanced diet as well as enough calories to support the growing baby inside you. Remember to drink enough water or juices throughout the day, and especially during and after your exercises.
3. Find The Right Trainer
You can dance at home by yourself, but finding a dance class is also a feasible idea. However, ensure, you look for a dance instructor who has experience with pregnant women or new mothers; especially those who know about pregnancy physiologies and their interactions with exercises.
4. Warm Up
Preparing your muscles and joints for a workout is the first and most crucial step before you start dancing. Warm-up exercises also serve to improve your resting heart rate, keeping you fighting fit. Avoiding this might lead to strained muscles and injuries.
5. Avoid A Burnout
Ensure you choose the right postures. For example, until the second trimester, it is alright for you to stay on your feet or lie on your back during the exercise. However, it is better to avoid them afterwards as they can slow the blood flow to your uterus. Stop dancing immediately if you feel exhausted or under pressure.
6. Use The Right Footwear
The right shoes can make all the difference. Don’t wear jogging or running shoes as they are usually heavy and their broad soles might cause you to trip while dancing. Buy a good pair of shoes meant to be worn for dancing. However, you might have to buy more pairs as feet tend to increase in size during the pregnancy.
7. Learn From Others
Talk to other pregnant women who use or are considering dance as a form of exercise. This is an excellent way to share knowledge and experiences and help make your pregnancy more fun while supporting others in the process. Communication establishes a strong support network, and you are less likely to make mistakes if you learn from others’ mistakes first.
When Should you avoid Dancing?
- Don’t dance if you are feeling fatigued, sleep-deprived or dizzy as it could cause oxygen-deprivation for you and your foetus
- Dancing is not recommended if you have chronic health problems or complications such as gestational diabetes.
- Back or pelvic joint pain is also a good reason to avoid dancing, as it could exacerbate the symptoms.
When to Consult a Doctor?
Please consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen, and especially if you encounter any of the following signs:
- Bursts of abdominal pain
- Strong pain in the glutes or calves
- Feeling dizzy or experiencing palpitations
- Vision suddenly gets blurry
- Having trouble walking or standing
- A constant headache
- Fluid leakage from your vagina
- Persistent pain in the muscles or joints
Dancing is a fun and easy way to stay fit during pregnancy. But please make sure you only choose the gentler styles especially in your third trimester. Pay heed to how you feel so you, don’t push yourself too much. Also remember to get the go-ahead from your doctor beforehand, whether you want to dance at home or under the supervision of a professional trainer. With all these precautions in mind, you will find that dancing will reduce your tension, elevate your mood and help you stay in perfect shape.
Also Read: Performing Zumba during Pregnancy