Most people don’t realise but regular exercise during pregnancy can improve health, possibly make delivery easier and reduce the risk of excess weight gain. However, it is important to choose a suitable exercise program as pregnancy affects the body’s response to exercise. If you or someone you know has a bun in the oven, this article is the one for you!
Women who exercise during their pregnancy enjoy numerous health benefits including improved cardiovascular fitness, blood pressure, mood and weight control. However, safety is crucial and you should always talk with your healthcare provider before commencing any new fitness program.
Firstly, don’t exhaust yourself. Your aim should be to complete a light to moderate exercise, which may need to decrease in intensity as your pregnancy progresses. As a general rule, a light to moderate exercise should allow you to continue a conversation as you exercise. If you become breathless and can’t talk then you need to lower the intensity.
If you weren’t an active person prior to the pregnancy then don’t suddenly take up strenuous exercise. Keep in mind; the exercise does not have to be strenuous and tiresome to be beneficial.
Some key tips to safely exercise during your pregnancy include:
- Always warm up and cool down
- Avoid strenuous exercise, especially in hot weather
- Drink plenty of water
- Keep active on a daily basis; 30 minutes of walking each day is enough, but if this is too much for you, lower the amount to what you are comfortable with.
Exercises you should avoid include:
- Anything where you lie flat on your back, especially after 16 weeks.
- No contact sports
- No horse riding, skiing, ice hockey or cycling due to the risk of falling.
- Don’t do repetitive high impact exercise that causes joint discomfort.
- Don’t do any exercise where you get too hot
If you are a little stuck on where to start then this Prenatal Workout video is perfect for you and is safe for any trimester.