10 tips you must know to stay fit during pregnancy
Stay fit during pregnancy (yes pregnant mums, you too! ).
Exercising in pregnancy is great for you and your baby, as long as you are sensible and follow some guidelines. Not only does exercising release endorphins which will make you feel great, it is also great to prepare your body for labour and birth. Many studies have shown that mothers who are fit generally have a far easier labour and delivery than mothers who are unfit. It doesn’t have to be a lot of exercise, but every little bit helps. Below are some tips for exercising while pregnant. Please note though, that for both yours and your baby’s safety, you should always consult your Lead Maternity Carer (LMC),or the medical professional overseeing your pregnancy if you are not in New Zealand, about what exercise is appropriate for you to do while pregnant.
Ten “must know” tips for pregnancy exercise:
- Stick to your normal fitness routine for as long as you feel comfortable, but follow the tips below to avoid hurting yourself or your baby.
- Be sensible. Don’t suddenly decide that exercise is a fantastic idea, and start an intense programme when the most exercise you’d done prior to pregnancy was walking to your letterbox. Exercise, but do it at an appropriate level. If in doubt, leave it out. Your LMC will be able to tell you if you should be doing an exercise or not.
- Be careful. Remember that a lot of your body is more stretchy when pregnant, and we don’t mean in a good way. A hormone called Relaxin is at work, making ligaments and muscles soft, stretchy, and far easier to get damaged.
- Stop immediately if something hurts. See above – it is far easier to hurt yourself, and do more damage when you are pregnant.
- Ditch the Abdominal work after your first trimester, and be careful if you choose to do any abdominal work in the first 12 weeks. Your abdominals are going to get a good work out when you’re pregnant anyway – they are supporting a lot of extra weight in front of them. Treat them nicely, and ditch the ab workouts until after baby is born.
- Remember that as your baby grows, your centre of balance is going to change. Reduce your workouts as your body changes – although you may not feel like exercising anyway!
- Choose the right exercise. At 8 months pregnant, most women won’t want to go for a run, even if they were super-fit before. The jarring motion of running can do damage, and it most likely won’t be very comfortable. A nice, safe option for exercising throughout your pregnancy is to get in the water. Swim for as long as you feel comfortable, or try aqua-jogging. This low/no impact exercise combined with the floating sensation of being in the water can feel wonderful, and it’s good for you too!
- Drink plenty of water during and after exercise. If you are dehydrated, you may get light headed and are more likely to stumble or trip over. It also helps to keep you and your baby cool.
- Take it easy. It’s a good idea to reduce the intensity of your work out when pregnant. The harder you work, the hotter you get. Your baby can overheat if you overheat, but unlike you, your baby can’t cool down with a cool breeze or water on their face.
- Check out “50 foods every pregnant woman should eat” to support a good exercise routine.
By Anatomy Fitness