We all know getting enough rest is essential during pregnancy, but surprisingly (and annoyingly for the less sporty of us) keeping fit is just as important! Doctors and fitness experts have made it clear keeping fit has many health benefits for you and your baby whilst your pregnant, so read on to find out the best ways to keep your body shipshape during pregnancy!
What’s safe and what’s not?
You should see a doctor before starting any exercise while pregnant, as although in the majority of cases, it is safe to exercise, there are certain conditions that make it safer not to, such as if you’ve been experiencing bleeding. So be on the safe side and talk to your doctor or midwife about the form of exercise you want to do. Low impact forms of exercise such as aerobics, antenatal yoga, swimming, dancing, cycling, jogging and walking are all safe to do during pregnancy. Certain high impact exercise such as weight lifting is fine, but only if you are already used to it. Activities to avoid are skiing, horse riding, diving, contact sports and any other sport where you might be hit in the stomach, such as football and netball.
Choose a form of exercise you actually enjoy. If you hate getting chlorine in your eyes and feel self conscious about being in a swimming costume, don’t go swimming! Don’t force yourself to go a certain form of exercise just because you’ve heard about its health benefits. There are many forms of exercise that are safe to do whilst pregnant, and by choosing one you enjoy doing, you’ll be more likely to stick with it throughout your pregnancy, and it will help release those happy endorphins!
A bit of preparation goes a long way in helping you get the most out of your exercise regime. Make sure you have the correct footwear to exercise in, and wear light, loose fitting clothing. Jogging bottoms with expandable waistbands are perfect for exercise. Also remember to take care of yourself by eating well. Carbs and protein will help you feel good while you work out. You probably feel like you’re peeing for England already but it’s essential to keep hydrated while exercising, so keep drinking that water!
If you don’t feel up to your planned aerobics session one day, as exhaustion or morning sickness make you wonder how you’re even going to get out of bed, don’t force yourself to go. Just doing fifteen minutes a day will improve your health and give your circulation and immune system a boost, so go for a quick walk, do some gardening, or dance around your living room. The endorphins released by exercise will help you fight off the fatigue!
Know your limits
It’s very important to know when to stop exercising, if you experience any worrying symptoms while exercising. If you feel out of breath, you should stop, as this means your baby might not be getting the oxygen it needs. When you’ve got your breath back, carry on but take it more slowly than before. You should stop exercising straight away and call a doctor if you experience such serious symptoms as chest pains, stomach pains, headaches or bleeding.