Is it safe to bowl while pregnant?
It’s safe to bowl while pregnant. Bowling is one of the games in the low-impact category and can be done by pregnant women. The term low-impact here means that the game doesn’t cause too much strain to the muscles in the body. Meanwhile, it is still recommended that a pregnant woman who is new at bowling stays away from the game for a while. The reason is that bowling involves getting the right stance and catching the best angles for a good shot. Someone who already knows all of these details might not have to work her body as much as someone that doesn’t.
Another thing to note here is that being pregnant doesn’t mean you abstain from the usual sports and activities that you do. What it does mean is that you go a tad slower.
You don’t get to move as freely as you used to. You also don’t get to turn your body via different difficult angles.
The reason is that the body usually undergoes a lot of changes during pregnancy, most of which are centered on the limbs and joints.
Bowling is a sport that involves you lifting balls and attaining a high level of coordination. So, you have to ensure that you do not impact too much stress on your body.
Here, we will discuss a few tips that you should bear in mind while bowling as a pregnant woman;
Getting the right stance
To make the perfect shot, you have to ensure that your body is set in the right stance. The following tips will help with that;
- Do not exert too much pressure on your back muscles when lifting the ball.
- Move slowly and carefully while taking the ball back up.
- Your back should be straight and your knees, bent.
- If you feel pain after moving a certain way or through a certain angle, readjust your stance and then, try again. If the pain remains, you probably should just stop bowling.
- Start with a warm-up exercise before moving on to the major bowling stances. Also, while warming up, move from simple to complex exercises.
This way, you are able to prep your muscles for what you want to do.
Handling the bowling ball
When bowling, you’d be working with balls of different sizes and weights. What are the things you should take note of while being pregnant?
- Skip the heavy balls. What they do is exert a great pressure on your back muscles, inadvertently leaving you in serious pain or discomfort. Pick out the light balls and work with them instead.
- The ball you pick should also be something you are comfortable bowling with. Most bowling centers provide belts for pregnant women.
The belts allow them to distribute their weights evenly as they throw the ball.
- Instead of handling balls, you could try working with duck pins. They are light and easier to throw. Another thing you should note is that they will not exert much force on the back muscles.
Building the force in the upper torso
Like it was stated earlier, it is better to keep the throwing force off your back muscles. If that happens, how then do you throw the ball? Via what angle should your body be tilted when you throw the ball?
Check out the following tips;
- Try to do all the lifting and throwing with your upper muscles. This way, you aren’t exerting your body fully. Only the muscles in our shoulders and arms are invested into the throw.
- Ensure that your daily or weekly exercises are invested in the development of your upper torso. That way, it is easier to channel the bulk of the weight you are lifting away from your lower abdomen and back muscles.
This technique is much easier when you have a gym trainer.
- You could also try strengthening your abdominal and back muscles with exercises that won’t put your fetus at risk. By doing this, you don’t have to worry about training your upper torso.
The lower part of your body is also trained and sculptured to deal with the additional weight and pressure. However, you should never start these exercises until you are certain they are pregnancy-safe.
Controlling the rate of movement
When bowling, ensure that you do not move too quickly or powerfully. There’s a term regarded as the center of gravity of an individual. It is responsible for the balance or stance of the individual.
As the belly of a woman gets bigger, her center of gravity changes, leading to an increased tendency for her to easily lose balance. Check out the following tips that can stop her from losing her balance;
- Move slowly while bowling. Going too quickly could cause you to lose balance before you can catch yourself.
- Ensure that you do not overstep the line, i.e., stepping into the lane where the ball rolls past. The lanes don’t have proper gripping and that’s to aid the ball’s sliding motion.
All of the points highlighted above are only tips that can help you bowl safely while being pregnant. However, you should ensure that you pay close attention to your body always.
When to stop bowling while pregnant
If you experience any of the signs listed below, you should immediately stop bowling, at least, until you deliver the child.
- Bleeding from the vagιna
- Pain at the lower abdomen (mild or severe)
- Intermittent contractions
- Discharge of fluid from the vagιna
- A strong feeling of nausea, dizziness and weakness
- Headaches and Chest pains
- Shortness of breath
- Abnormal or irregular heart beat.
Once you notice any unusual symptom, you should immediately stop bowling. Another thing you should bear in mind is that certain medical conditions totally cancel out the ability of a woman being able to bowl.
For example, if she has a heart disease, cases of premature labor, presence of heart diseases, preeclampsia, or when the woman has a multiple pregnancy, i.e., she’s carrying more than a child.
Asides from bowling, there are tons of other exercises that you should avoid when you are pregnant.
These exercises are also like bowling in that they require a lot of movement and may also exert too much pressure on the abdominal muscles. Check the list below;
- Exercises that involve you moving at high heights above the ground e.g., sky diving.
- Scuba diving
- Exercises that involve you moving or rotating your waist too vigorously.
- Games that pose the risk of your tummy getting hit by objects. Examples of such games include football, hockey or basketball.