A lot of women think that exercise is out of the window when pregnant through fear they might injure themselves and harm the baby, but it’s entirely safe to do some forms of light exercise while pregnant.
It is important to move and get your heart pumping and keep yourself active without causing your physical body stress. Even activities such as running, and weight training are fine for the beginning of your pregnancy but as time goes on your workouts need to be modified as your baby starts growing.
You will really feel great benefits during your pregnancy if you do a combination of:
- Aerobic exercise, which gets your heart rate pumping and great for your lungs.
- Muscle-strengthening practice, which will improve your strength, flexibility, and posture.
Like with anything to feel the benefits you need to exercise regularly a least three times a week if you have the energy, sometimes it can be tough especially during the first semester when tiredness kicks in and your energy levels are quite low. If you are not feeling to do anything too strenuous a brisk 30-minute walk in your local park would be fine, try to find something you enjoy that way you are likely to keep at it.
You’ll be pleased to know that doing housework can be a good workout too and it counts. When you’re out at metro or shopping swap the elevator or escalators for the stairs, doing this regularly will make a difference.
Things you need to avoid during your pregnancy due to the risk of hitting your bump, falling or slipping are sports like squash, tennis, gymnastics, rollerblading, horse riding and skiing. So it's of utmost importance that you sustain from these throughout your pregnancy.
The exercises outlined below are safe to do during pregnancy, but during the last few months you obviously must be extra cautious, so you may need to do less exercise.
- Walking – can easily fit into your lifestyle and of course, it not only keeps you fit but gives your heart a workout. 30 minutes a day, if you can manage it, would be great, try for at least 5 times a week if possible. Try walking to the shops rather than driving or getting off the bust a few stops earlier and walk the rest.
- Swimming – is ideal when pregnant as its very safe and exercises your whole body. You could even try an aqua aerobics class!
- Yoga – is great during pregnancy as it helps maintain muscle tone and flexibility and improves your posture at the same time. Make sure you don’t over-do it and push yourself too much, be gentle and use it as a form of relaxation too.
- Pilates – Pilates exercises strengthen your tummy and pelvic floor muscles, you’ll also learn how to breathe properly and relax. An antenatal Pilates class is always a good option.
- Weight training – As long as you are careful you can lift light weights to tone and strengthen your muscles.
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