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Should you exercise during pregnancy?

Feeling your bump growing is an amazing feeling for many mums to be, but pregnancy comes with many questions. What should you eat, what can you eat? Can you run in pregnancy? Should you bedrest the whole time?

pregnant woman

Exercising during pregnancy is actually recommended by doctors, it has many health benefits, it will help combat the weight you put on with pregnancy, keep you feeling fit and help develop your muscles to cope with your changing body. Most importantly exercise can help you prepare yourself for labour. The first myth to dispel that pregnancy is bad for the baby, this isn’t true, some studie seven suggest that women who were active during their pregnancy were likely to experience less problems in later pregnancy and labour.

Tips for Exercise during pregnancy

Pregnancy is very taxing on the female body, so it’s important that you pace yourself and don’t throw yourself into a new exercise routine unless you were active before your pregnancy. Here are some very useful tips when exercising when pregnant:

  • Warm up and warm down before and after exercise.

  • Try to be active each day, a half hour walk will do you a world of good. any amount of exercise is good over no activity. Visit here for some ideas on pregnancy exercises.

  • Don’t over exert yourself in hot weather, drink plenty of fluids and water to keep your hydration levels up.

  • Swimming or water aerobics is ideal for pregnant women, the water will support your weight and take the strain off your joints. Always make sure to talk to the instructor and see that they are properly qualified to teach that session, and also tell your instructor that you are pregnant and how many weeks along you are.

Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy

Whilst getting fit for your pregnancy is good, there are some factors to consider when selecting an exercise, especially in the later periods of pregnancy. Here are some good tips to take on board:

  • Avoid lying flat on your back after 16 weeks, the weight of the bump can often press on a major blood vessel and this can make you feel a bit faint.

  • Avoid dangerous sports like horse riding, skiing or ice hockey, anything with a risk of fall should be avoided at all times as this could cause damage to both you and the baby.

  • Contact sports like rugby, football, judo or karate should be avoided at all costs.

  • Altitude sickness can be a big issue for both mother and baby so flying in late pregnancy should be avoided,especially heights over 2500m above sea level.

  • Scuba diving may seem a safe sport but the baby isn’t protect against decompression sickness or getting gas embolism (this is when gas bubble enter the bloodstream)

 

Get the Family involved

Why not look at getting other involved with your fitness regime? Look out for pregnant gym aerobic classes and see if you can get your friends and family walking with you everyday? Also look at doing pelvic floor exercises, these will help tighten your pelvic floor muscles which can be a cause of incontinence, especially after pregnancy.

 

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