We all know that pregnancy often introduces many complications to our lifestyles, and one of the biggest disruptions is to our fitness routine. Despite what many people will tell you, prenatal exercise is actually incredibly important because it helps you stay strong and fit, and also trains you to ensure a safe delivery.
Disclaimer: This article is aimed at women who are going through a healthy pregnancy without health problems or risks. Always ask for advice from your GP before engaging in physical activity during pregnancy.
Ignore what people say about reducing your physical activity when you’re expecting because that advice just isn’t true anymore! In this article, we’ll outline a couple of tips to help you stay fit and exercise even when you’re pregnant.
Learn About Your Body
If you’ve just discovered that you’re expecting a child then you may want to find out more about pregnancy and how it affects your body before doing any kind of exercise.
For example, you need to be a lot more aware of when your body is exhausted so you can slow down, and if you become breathless then it’s a sign you’re pushing yourself too hard.
Don’t push yourself more than needed, and match your fitness level to something similar to what you were at before your pregnancy. If you plan to try for a child in the future, then do what you can to build up your fitness before becoming pregnant.
Learn your body's way of signalling and while you want to stay fit while expecting your child, this time of your life is not about progress, but maintenance and safety. Don't try to hit PBs and learn which positions to avoid in these 9 months. The first 12 weeks especially are important, you would like to be very gentle to your body here.
Small Ways to Be Active
Exercise doesn’t mean that you need to be running or lifting weights. Exercise can come in the form of simply staying active throughout the day. Walk to the corner shop, take the stairs for the first floor, do your washing up by hand, take 15 to 30 minute short walks and so on.
Just make sure any physical activity feels good and gentle rather than exhausting. If you feel you shoult stop, just do. Don't second guess yor instinct, this is not a time to push through.
This is especially important when the weather is hot. You should know that it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day even if you aren’t pregnant, but when you are, it’s even more crucial to keep drinking water and other fluids to prevent dehydration.
Your body will need even more water for you to function, plus to fuel the baby and it will retain more water during these months too, so keep drinking. If you'd like to keep it varied, add fruits or vegetables to flavour your water, eat soups, drink herbal tea, buy fruits and veggies that are mainly made of water. The list goes on. Don't forget about electrolytes either.
Optimal pregnancy workouts will depend on what stage of pregnancy you’re at and also your current fitness levels. Unfortunately, it’s hard to pinpoint the best exercises to do without understanding your situation, so here are a couple of good ideas for prenatal exercise:
It’s best to avoid any kind of exercises that put you at risk of falling. You also want to avoid exercises that involve physical contact to ensure the safety of you and your baby.
If you have more questions on how to approach your health and fitnes while expecting, feel free to get in touch!
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