Exercising when pregnant – what’s the best advice?
It wasn’t that long ago that pregnant woman were bubble wrapped and told to do little to no exercise and due to this older way of thinking, it can be worrying thinking about what exercise you can do while pregnant. However, maintaining an exercise routine throughout your pregnancy can help you stay healthy and feel amazing. In fact, it has now been proved that exercising when pregnant can improve your posture and decrease some of the common aches and discomforts that come with pregnancy. There is evidence that suggests physical activity decreases a woman’s chances of gestational diabetes as well as decreasing stress and preparing your body for labour and delivery.
If you were physically active before your pregnancy you should be able to keep exercising in moderation. This isn’t the time for you to take up a new sport, climb a mountain or try to hit personal bests but simply a time to prepare yourself for the rest of your pregnancy, labour and being a new mum.
If you’ve never really exercised before, you can start with the help and guidance of your healthcare provider. If you have a relatively easy pregnancy there shouldn’t be any complications with you exercising however if you can’t keep up a conversation, you feel exhausted instead of energized after work out or you feel any pain at all you are probably overtraining and should think about cutting down. The American college of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommend you exercise for 30 minutes most or all days of the week if you do not have a health or pregnancy complication.
The ideal activities for exercising when pregnant
Activities like swimming, walking, yoga and low-intensity aerobics are all great for exercising when pregnant but really it’s all about finding what you’re comfortable with. Professional athletes may choose to keep up with a training program with the help of an obstetrician, or newbies to exercise might go for a three 10 minute walks a day. There is no blanket advice for pregnant woman as every woman and every pregnancy is different but working your body, feeling energized and keeping active can make a real difference to your physical and mental health.
But what about after your pregnancy? In a survey of over 3,500 mothers it was found that 72% of women weren’t happy with their post-partum body and 62% said that if money was no object they would get plastic surgery. That being said, it is so hard to find the time to exercise and pamper yourself when you’re a new mum but there are a few ways you can work on yourself whilst still spending time with your baby. These super parents have all broken walking and running records with their babies in prams. Most newborns sleep a lot and fitting in activities around their naps is a great way to keep up with your exercise routine. Find a mummy & me class. It can be quite a lonely time for some mums when your baby is very young and finding a class of like minded people gives you time to bond with adults and your baby at the same time.