Keeping fit during pregnancy can be really challenging. Things like fatigue, morning sickness and back pain can all be extremely discouraging to mothers to be trying to maintain any kind of fitness regimen. Frequent exercise during pregnancy strengthens the muscles supporting your uterus, reduces the number of aches and pains you’re likely to experience and helps your body better prepare for the physical demands of childbirth. It is also beneficial to your mental health during this time of extreme hormone fluctuations. These tips will help you keep in shape throughout your pregnancy.
Yoga is an excellent way to both keep fit and reduce stress. Some yogis even offer pregnancy yoga classes, specifically designed to accommodate the challenges faced by pregnant women. Pregnancy can also be very stressful, making the group format yoga classes often take an excellent place to both release stress and find a support system from other women who are on the same journey.
Experts agree that fitness during pregnancy is well maintained by moderate, movement-based activity. A brisk 20 to 30-minute walk is something that can be done at most stages of pregnancy and has minimal risk of injury or overexertion. If you can find a pleasant location, you can even turn a walk into a fantastic partner bonding occasion by doing simple things like finding a park-bench with a nice view to sit on after. Later on in your pregnancy it also helps to choose locations with plenty of bathrooms since – as all women who already have been pregnant know – pressure from your uterus on your bladder makes frequent loo-stops unavoidable.
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for just about all stages of pregnancy. It provides excellent cardiovascular exercise while exerting very little stress on those frequently inflamed and sore joints. Just be sure to keep your swims to moderate temperature water, particularly avoiding warmer water. The increased temperature can be harmful to your unborn baby.
Whichever form of exercise you choose, it is key that you listen to your body. If it feels wrong, slow down, take a break or stop and change to a different activity. It is also important not to suddenly start doing high-intensity exercise if you had not already been doing it before you became pregnant. If you are doing an activity that is instructor lead be sure to find a coach that understands the needs and limitations of pregnancy. If you have complications during pregnancy or are unsure about doing a certain type of exercise, it’s best to get the OK from your healthcare provider before going ahead with it. – Jan de Lange