How to Stay Fit and Healthy during Pregnancy
Pregnancy is an exciting time in any woman’s life, however, the last thing you want is to remain a couch potato for the next nine months – it is important to keep as active as possible while eating for two.
There is plenty of benefits to keeping active during pregnancy that is more than just simply keeping in shape, although that is undoubtedly a central point for many mothers to be. Exercise during pregnancy will help you to sleep better as your bump grows, help you to carry the extra weight by conditioning muscles and help to improve your mood.
No one will be expecting you to emulate Serena Williams, who won the Australian Open while two months pregnant, but maintaining as active a lifestyle as possible will make for a pleasant pregnancy.
The biggest mistake that anyone makes, regardless of whether you are pregnant or not, is to set an unrealistic exercise routine that you dread. If you are not enjoying yourself, chances are you are not going to stick to your routine and give it up within a few days or a matter of weeks.
It is recommended that you exercise at least three times a week, and more if your schedule allows, so why kid yourself about sticking to something that you don’t enjoy? When you enjoy your exercise, you barely even notice that you are exercising.
Good Pregnancy Exercises
The best exercises for expecting mothers are aerobic and muscle-conditioning. Aerobic exercises will get your heart and lungs working, while conditioning exercises will improve your strength and posture.
Some of the best exercises include:
- Walking – a brisk half hour walk five times a week is a good and easy way to get your heart pumping.
- Running – running can be beneficial exercises during pregnancy, although we do not recommend taking up the sport if you have not already done so. When you are with child is not the time to start running.
- Yogo – the choice of exercise for many expecting mothers as it is low impact and highly effective.
- Swimming – another low impact form of exercise that will get your heart racing while working every muscle in your body.
What to Keep Away From
Keep away from contact sports for obvious reasons, especially during the latter stages of pregnancy. One knock or fall is all that it takes for something to go terribly wrong. Also abstain from exercise that can cause you to lose balance or require sudden movement (twisting and turning) such as squash, tennis and, especially, any form of skating or rollerblading.
As well as physical exercise, try to keep to a healthy balanced diet during your pregnancy. The healthier your lifestyle the easier it will be for you to get back into shape after giving birth. That doesn’t mean turning away naughty treats when friends and family gift you chocolates accompanied with flowers at this exciting time, just keep everything in moderation.
Late Pregnancy Exercise
During the third trimester, it will become uncomfortable to maintain the level of physical activity that you were used to during the early stages of pregnancy. This is when you should look to lower the amount of exercise you undertake, but try not to stop completely.
Low impact exercises such as brisk walks and yoga can still be continued, although you should look to put the running trainers aside for now. Pelvic floor exercises also come highly recommended for pregnant women that can be performed in the comfort of your own home.
By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, not too dissimilar from what you would before finding out you are pregnant, you will be able to enjoy this exciting time of your life and be ready to welcome your new born baby into the world.