Mummies-to-be can still keep fit while baby's in the belly! Although exercise can sometimes take the backseat once you've got a bun in the oven, you don't necessarily have to cut it out of your schedule the next nine months.
Why Exercise During Pregnancy?
Exercise has plenty of benefits for pregnant mothers. For instance, it helps maintain physical fitness throughout pregnancy while reducing discomfort and improving posture. Regular exercise also lowers the risk of gestational diabetes, prevents and relieves constipation and speeds up post-delivery recovery.
And all that only covers some of its awesome physical benefits. Emotionally, exercises is both a mood and energy booster which effectively relieves stress. It also provides you with a sense of control while your body and hormones are changing, and creates an opportunity for you to make friends at exercise classes to share pregnancy stories with.
What Mummy Does Affects Baby Too
It's not only your body that benefits when you exercise. Regular workouts during pregnancy can build a better immune system for your baby and provide him or her with a greater oxygen flow. It may even result in a better birth weight.
Remember To Take Care When Engaging In Exercise
Of course, exercising when pregnant does come with its own set of precautions. Always check with your doctor whether it's safe to exercise before doing so, and discuss any planned workouts with him or her before officially starting your routine.
While working out, these are some things you should take note of:
Wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothes during your workout
Select shoes that provide ample support and are suitable for the kind of exercise you’re doing
Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise
Alert someone if you're about to exercise alone so they know to check on you
Ask your doctor for a list of warning signs to look out forInclude a pregnancy-friendly warm-up in your routine
Measure your heart rate as you exercise
Try to exercise in a temperature-controlled room to avoid becoming overheated
Never overexert yourself
Exercises You Can Enjoy While Pregnant
Walking or Jogging
These exercises should be done on flat, even surfaces, and pregnant mummies shouldn’t push themselves too hard. Those who used to run regularly before pregnancy should start with walks before gradually shifting to jogs, and those who rarely exercise prior to pregnancy should ease into it and start with relaxed strolls.
Swimming or Aqua Aerobics
Swimming can improve the flow of blood and oxygen. It’s also therapeutic and relieves pressure from your tired legs and back. If you’re not accustomed to swimming or aqua aerobics but wish to add them to your exercise routine, try joining classes for pregnant mothers.
Yoga and Pilates
There are several yoga and pilates class designed for pregnant women, and both forms of exercise can actually help improve your strength for delivery. Besides having wonderful physical benefits, both yoga and pilates also improve your mental well-being.
Spinning increases the heart rate without creating too much stress on your joints – but of course like any other form of exercise, don't overdo it and always practise moderation. Its bonus benefit is a lowered risk of falling since it involves cycling on a stationary bike.
Squats not only strengthen your muscles, but in some cases even help with a smoother delivery by opening your pelvic outlet during labour. However, it's important to check with a professional or personal trainer that you're doing your squats correctly.