If you have been exercising before you became pregnant, it is generally okay to continue to exercise once you are pregnant. Exercise in pregnancy is a great way to stay healthy and prepare you mentally and physically for birth.
As always, check with your caregiver as to your particular circumstances. Once you have been given the all clear, you should try and do 30 minutes of moderate exercise 3 to 4 times a week. You may find this difficult if you are spending your days puking!
What if you weren’t active before pregnancy
Don’t worry. You can start now. Check with your caregiver first that there is nothing that should prevent you from exercise. If you are given the okay, try something gentle like walking, pilates, swimming or aqua aerobics. You can also try yoga – just stay away from the one that is done in a very hot room as you may overheat.
I’m a sport fiend
You should talk to your caregiver if its okay to continue a heavier exercise regime or if you play a team sport. Some activities are okay if you stay hydrated, take things a little easier or stop if you are tired or don’t feel well.
Sporting activities that put you or your baby at risk can pose problems. These include gymnastics, climbing, skiing, martial arts, lifting heavy weights, cycling and horse riding (because of the risk of a fall).
Your joints and ligaments soften in pregnancy, so be careful around sports that require changing direction suddenly (netball), jumping or overstretching.
Benefits of regular exercise
- healthy you = happy you
- exercise helps you relax
- lowers the change of getter gestational diabetes (combined with a healthy diet)
- helps relieve backaches and varicose veins
- will make you stronger and fitter! Great for labour and motherhood.
What else should I watch out for
- Your pregnant bump changes your centre of gravity and can affect your balance.
- Avoid jumping (star jumps) as your pelvic floor is weak in pregnancy. It doesn’t need more pressure on it.
- Tell your trainer that you are pregnant, so they can adjust the program accordingly.
- Be careful lying on your back late in pregnancy as it puts pressure on the main artery and vein that carries blood to and from your heart. This is a valid point for sleeping as well as stretching.
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