Remaining active throughout your pregnancy is beneficial to your overall health.
There are many reasons why exercise is important.
1. Exercise releases endorphins which help to make you feel good giving you with a natural high.
2. Maintain a healthy weight. This means less weight loss post partum.
3. A strong healthy body will help in labor.
4. Less aches and pains during pregnancy.
5. Get social with like-minded women.
For those women who are not participating in regular exercise pre pregnancy, it is advised that you consult your health care provider first. He or she will give you valuable advice and guidelines to follow.
For those women who already participate and have an active lifestyle, it is also advised that you consult your health care provider. As some of your exercise choices might need to be modified throughout the pregnancy.
What should you wear?
It is very important that you feel comfortable. Choose non-restrictive clothing that will provide ease of movement.
Avoid clothing that is not too tight as this could affect your breathing or blood circulation. Clothing that is too loose is also not ideal as it could get caught in machinery or cause you to trip.
Choose work out gear made from cotton or fabrics that have wicking properties. These fabrics will help to keep you cool and dry.
Invest in good quality maternity sports bras. Your breasts are likely to be larger and heavier than their pre pregnancy size.
A good supportive bra will help to keep your breasts in place and eliminate movement.
Lastly invest in a good pair of trainers. Good supportive footwear will cushion and support your body. This is particularly important as you are caring more weight during pregnancy. Good shoes will absorb jarring and reduce the strain on your bones and muscles.
What type of exercise should I do?
It is generally recommended to participate in low impact exercise. Low impact exercise is gentler on the body but will still provide you with a good workout.
Low impact exercise options
- Yoga/Pilates (modified for pregnancy)
- Low impact Aerobics (modified for pregnancy)
- Gym (light weights)
1. It is important to do a variety of different types of exercise. The reason for this is that our bodies use our muscles differently and you will get a better overall body workout.
The other advance is that you will not get bored which is vital to help maintain a healthy ongoing relationship with exercise.
2. Research your local area to find out what classes or exercise groups are available.
3. Create a routine. Decide on the days and times you will exercise and stick to it.
4. Exercise with a friend. This helps to make the experience more fun and will help to keep you motivated.
5. Listen to your body. Should you feel any unusual aches or pains stop immediately. Should the pain continue consult your health care provider.
6. Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated.
7. Eat well. Fuel your body with healthy Low GI foods that will help to keep your energy levels high.
8. Avoid overheating. Work out early morning or later in the evening when the sun is at its coolest. Should you be working out indoor make sure the space is well ventilated.
Exercising whilst pregnant does come with some limitations. Your body is not physically capable of stretching, bending, lifting or exerting itself as much as it can pre pregnancy.
Exercises that inflicts pain, the feeling of dizziness or the need to vomit should be stopped immediately.
Find a quiet cool place to sit down and take small sips of water. Should the symptoms persist consult your health care provider.