Always make sure that you warm up and cool down before and after exercising by stretching out your body. Stretching is vital during pregnancy as it can help fight muscle pain and cramping.
Working out while pregnant
Pregnancy and exercise don’t always go hand in hand. However, over the past few years, a new wave of ‘modern mums’ have been seeking out the best ways to exercise while pregnant. Even the ‘Royals’ have been getting in on the act. When Pippa Middleton was pregnant, she wrote an article about how ballet was her main focus to protect her lower back. Whereas Meghan Markle is said to do yoga on a daily basis to help with her pregnancy..
If you are looking at continuing your regular workouts or starting a new regime to help with your body as well as your mind, we have five top tips to keep in mind.
The best exercises to do during your pregnancy are aerobic and strengthening exercises. Swimming and brisk walking are great examples of low impact aerobic activities. While strengthening exercises, like Pilates and pelvic floor exercises, are all about moving your body against resistance. You should try do these exercises as little or as often as you can, so long as you feel comfortable.
Always make sure that you warm up and cool down before and after exercising by stretching out your body. Stretching is vital during pregnancy as it can help fight muscle pain and cramping. Additionally, stretching can help improve your posture, which can give the baby more space.
During pregnancy, it is vital that you stay hydrated. Keeping hydrated is essential especially if you are suffering from morning sickness or constipation. Water helps keep you feeling energised and helps remove toxins from the body. Always drink lots of water before and after a workout to help aid muscle recovery. When muscles don’t have enough water, they won’t perform as well!
Certain types of exercise need to be avoided at all costs to ensure yours and your baby’s safety. It is recommended that after the 2nd trimester, you should avoid lying on your back for long periods of times. Also, it goes without saying (but we’ll say it nevertheless) that you should avoid sports such as kickboxing, rugby, horseback riding, rock climbing, snowboarding or scuba diving. Anything that demands your whole body to contort, affects your breathing or leaves you at risk of falling over, is not a good idea.
Listen to what your body is telling you. Don’t push yourself too hard. You should stop exercising immediately if you are:
- Feeling dizzy or faint
- Having difficulty breathing and shortness of breath
- Have chest pains
- Have a headache or a migraine
- Are feeling fatigue and tiredness
- Are having painful contractions
- Are having heart palpitations
- Feeling pain in your back or pelvis
- Feel pain and swelling in your calves
If you do experience any of these symptoms while exercising you should immediately tell your GP or midwife. We know it’s hard balancing pregnancy and staying fit, but, try not to stress yourself out when it comes to exercising. Enjoy your changing body, make gentle moves and always stay safe. Here’s to a happy and healthy pregnancy!
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