Getting pregnant doesn’t mean you have to throw your fitness out the window. In fact, you should continue to exercise regularly as it may help to relieve some of the less pleasant symptoms of pregnancy. It can help with weight control, maintaining sleeping patterns and back pain. You will probably have to change the type of exercise you are used to doing in order to suit your pregnancy. Make sure you consult your doctor about your exercise plan and try some of the following gentle activities and see which one you and your growing belly like most.
Walking is a gentle form of exercise that you can do throughout your pregnancy and continue after you have had your baby. It is easy on the body and rarely results in exhaustion. It can also be a great social activity – organise walks with friends, make an after-dinner stroll a regular habit, or get down to the beach early for a wake-up call.
Water sports including swimming and aquarobics are also beneficial, gentle exercises. It uses large muscle groups like the arms and legs while also maintaining or improving cardiovascular fitness. The best thing about swimming while pregnant is the feeling of weightlessness when in the water. The pressure is taken off that tired back and you can breeze through laps feeling as light as a feather.
Every second celebrity mum seems to tout yoga as her recommended pregnancy exercise. As cliché as it may sound, that is probably because it works! The stretching involved in yoga helps tone the muscles and the breathing exercises will ultimately assist during labour. It is also great for relaxation and stress relief that is invaluable during what can be a tough time. Most yoga centres will offer prenatal classes that tailor their exercises for pregnant women. Qualified yoga teachers should have a Certificate III in Fitness so check out their background to ensure they have adequate experience.
If you are an avid cyclist, giving up your daily ride to work may seem impossible. Although cycling itself is beneficial for pregnant, the chance of being knocked off the bike or being involved in an accident will turn a lot of women off. Look into alternatives – research local off-road bike paths that may be safer or try using a stationary bike as part of your gym routine.
There are a huge range of exercises and activities that can keep you healthy and positive during your pregnancy. Whatever you do, check with your doctor or midwife beforehand so they are aware of what you are up to. Avoid sports with a risk of falling or with a lot of contact and avoid exercises that involve lying on your back in the later stages. If you don’t feel like exercising – don’t push it! Listen to your body and do what it tells you.