Stay Fit and Active During Pregnancy
Staying active during pregnancy will help you adapt better to the changes in your body and weight gain during pregnancy. It will also help you during labour, and will make it easier for you to get back into shape after birth. Being in good shape will make coping with common health problems encountered during pregnancy easier. You will also feel more energized, relaxed and even mentally more alert. You may also find it easier to get a good night’s sleep after exercise.
Here are some guidelines that will help you stay fit and active during pregnancy:
- Continue daily routine activity: you don’t have to stop any of your routine daily physical activity or exercise as long as you feel comfortable doing it.
- Don’t exhaust yourself during exercise: be sensible. if you become breathless or you find yourself unable to hold a conversation during activity, then you’re probably exerting yourself too much.
- Keep yourself active on a daily basis: for example, half an hour of walking can make a difference. Do this with your partner and you have reserved quality time for yourselves!!!
- Don’t start anything new suddenly: if you weren’t active before pregnancy, don’t suddenly take up new physically demanding activities. If you decide to start exercising for the first time during pregnancy, allow yourself a gentle start and then gradually increase at a comfortable pace.
- Always warm up and cool down: gentle stretching exercises before and after exercise will help you do this.
- Take up swimming: swimming is a beneficial exercise you may enjoy, and the water will support your increased weight, reducing stress on your joints.
- Have fun: find enjoyable activities with your family and friends that can help keep you active (for example, an evening stroll in a park or a walk along the beach)
Remember, you are carrying additional weight, your centre of gravity (balance) is different and your joints and ligaments are lax and more prone to injury. Always use appropriate protective gear. For walking, invest in a good quality pair of shoes.
Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy
- Avoid exercises where there is a risk of falling (such as cycling).
- Avoid weight lifting unless you have a well-qualified instructor who knows you are pregnant and can advise you accordingly.
- Avoid contact sports where there is a risk of being hit (such as squash, judo etc).
- Don’t exercise at high altitudes (2,500 above sea level) and also avoid deep water activities such as scuba diving.
- Don’t lie flat on your back for long periods, especially after 16 weeks, as this may affect your blood circulation.
- Avoid strenuous exercise in hot weather
- Keep yourself well hydrated during and after exercise: always keep fresh water at hand to ensure you don’t become dehydrated
Benefits: Strengthen pelvic muscles in preparation for pregnancy and labour, prevent stress incontinence during pregnancy
#Benefitsofexerciseduringpregnancy# exerciseduringpregnancy #Pregnanczcare #pregnancytips