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Pregnancy & Exercise

Pregnant and working out. New and expecting Mums keeping fit and healthy.
Think about all the prep and planning you are planning to do or have been doing  for the arrival of your little baby.... Now think of exercising as prepping your body for that time too! Becoming pregnant instantly makes you want to do the right things for your growing baby. You don't need to avoid exercise for nine months unless there are reasons not to or you have been specifically advised  not to do so by your medical team.
                                                                          
Exercising whilst being pregnant can help you stay healthy and feel your best.
If you already work out regularly then keeping up with your normal routine for as long as you feel comfortable is a great way to go. It can benefit you throughout pregnancy and during labour. It can also contribute to helping your body to recover quicker after birth.
                                                                                                      
If you wasn't really into keeping fit prior to being pregnant then believe it or not, now is a great time to start with a light exercise regime, whether that be walking for 15 minutes a few times a week and slowly building it up, going for a relaxing swim or joining a class such as yoga.
                                                   
There are so many prenatal classes available to attend nowadays that are focused on the health and well being of pregnant women. Such classes are run by instructors specifically trained to work with women during pregnancy, to ensure tailored guidance and safety. Classes are also a great way to meet other mums to be in your area too.
                                                                                             
Some of the benefits of exercising during pregnancy        
   
  • Improve overall health and fitness.
  • Reduce tiredness and improve sleep.
  • Help to reduce anxiety and stress levels.       
  • Help to prevent pregnancy related health problems such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes 
  • Help you to adapt to your changing body shape and help maintain a healthy weight during and after baby is born.
  • Improve your mood and well being.
  • Help to ease aches and pains that come with pregnancy such as back pain.                                      

There are many ways to exercise during pregnancy, swimming and aqua aerobics are a great way to exercise as the water helps to support your weight as your pregnancy progresses. There is Yoga and Pilates, jogging, cycling and even dancing at home or brisk walks that also clear your mind and allow you to get in touch with nature. Its always better to go to a class where the instructor is specifically trained to help pregnant women or ensure the instructor knows you are pregnant at a normal class. Another way is to use a birthing ball at home to help with your posture and balance as well as exercise your tummy muscles.

There is one type of exercise that every pregnant lady should do and that is Pelvic floor exercises. Your pelvic floor supports your bowel, bladder and womb and when pregnant also helps to support your baby so its important to strengthen the muscles by doing these exercises. You can ask your midwife about these or look up how to do them. Having strong pelvic floor muscles reduces the risk of problems such as incontinence after giving birth.

swimming when pregnant. Exercise for pregnant women.

 Here are some tips for exercising whilst pregnant

  • Always check with your GP/ Midwife prior to starting an exercise routine.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated.
  • Listen to your body as your pregnancy progresses.
  • You should be able to have a conversation during your pregnancy workout. If you become breathless then you could be exercising too strenuously.
  • If you are attending a class ensure the instructor is qualified and is informed about your pregnancy.
  • Exercise doesn't have to be strenuous to be beneficial.
  • Always warm up prior to working out and cool down afterwards.

Most importantly look after yourself throughout your pregnancy by eating well and keeping hydrated. Enjoy exercising and the benefits it can have for you and your baby whilst listening to your body.