A pregnancy exercise ball is an accessory that is often purchased as a pregnancy gadget. However, it is so versatile that it can also be useful after the baby is born!
The device does not belong to the group of expensive sports accessories, and in addition is multifunctional. In the case of pregnant women, it gives a great opportunity to exercise, which helps to combat unpleasant ailments caused by pregnancy. Exercises on the ball reduce pain in the back, alleviate swelling of legs, allow you to strengthen the pelvic muscles and maintain the correct posture of the spine.
It is best to start classes with a fitness ball around the second trimester of pregnancy, because then the woman’s body begins to change and prepare for childbirth. Regular training can bring many beneficial effects, and also accelerate the induction of labor. For this reason, gym balls have already become basic equipment in most gynecology and obstetrics wards in Poland.
The experience gained during such training will increase comfort in the stressful situation caused by the approaching birth. The exercise ball will also come in handy later during the postpartum period, as an element helping to regenerate and strengthen muscles used during childbirth.
Most balls are universal, fitting women between 1.70 and 1.90 meters tall. However, if you want to purchase a ball perfectly suited to the height and capabilities of the user, you can choose a customized ball for a specific height range.
The standard ball with a diameter of 55 cm is dedicated to people up to 165 cm tall. A ball with a diameter of 65 cm is ideal for people who are between 1.66 and 1.75 m tall. On the other hand, tall women measuring 176 cm and over may purchase a ball with a diameter of 75 or 85 cm.
Sports stores also offer smaller exercise balls with diameters ranging from a dozen to 25 cm. These types of balls are best suited for fitness and Pilates training.
When deciding which exercise ball to purchase, it is important to first check the material it is made from. Most commonly, PVC or ABS are used in the production of these types of balls and are resistant to abrasion. PVC is used for cheaper models, while more prestigious brands use ABS, which slowly deflates when the ball is punctured. For other material, you can make sure before buying that the rubber is thick and will be durable.
The non-slip coating that the ball should be equipped with is also an important consideration. Optionally, special lines or tabs are used to stop the rubber from slipping.
When browsing through the offer of stores, it is worth paying attention to the maximum load of the ball. Usually this range varies from 100 to 150 kg, but on the market you can also find balls with a load capacity of up to 300 kg. For moms who weigh more than 100 kg on a daily basis, it is worth buying a ball with better durability, so that the pregnant woman can exercise freely. Brands also offer a wide range of colors for the balls. You can buy the accessory in almost any shade, but keep in mind that lighter colored balls will get dirty quickly.
Exercises on the ball do not have to stop after childbirth. Its beneficial effects on the body do not change, so regular training can help firm the skin, improve flexibility and make it easier to lose excess weight.
The ball can also be used as a chair. It is perfect for people working remotely who spend many hours in front of a computer. The ball will help to relieve the spine, strengthen muscles and improve the sense of balance. The sports gadget will also be useful as an element of play with the child. Smaller accessories will allow you to play on the ball, while the larger size will require the help of parents. For younger children, a lightweight rubber ball is a very attractive toy, so you should keep it after pregnancy and use it regularly.
Featured photo: Freepik