Exercise During Pregnancy
Is exercise while pregnant safe?
In the old days pregnant women were told not to exercise during pregnancy because of fears for mum and baby’s health and well being.
Nowadays, pregnant women are encouraged to have an active pregnancy. I did with both of my girls and I will go through some of the exercise routines I personally did and led to a nicer, more comfortable pregnancy- if there is such a thing as a comfortable pregnancy- and a quicker delivery.
The benefits of exercise during pregnancy have been recognised for both BABY AND MOTHER alike
“This means that a woman who continues regular, sustained exercise until the onsent of labor usually delivers five to seven days earlier than a woman with an active lifestyle who does not exercise regularly. What an incentive to exercise!”
― James F. Clapp III, Exercising Through Your Pregnancy
The Myths About Exercise During Pregnancy
I so wanted to believe all the myths and rumors that my mother and her friends were throwing at me when I found out that I was pregnant with my first daughter.
The reason I did not want to believe them was simple:
It would mean lazy, inactive and self-indulging 9 months.
The thought of which was terrifying!
As a result, I was determined to prove that everything they said was wrong, and here, I am going to share with you, the myth and why it isn’t true.
“Pregnant women SHOULD take it easy and relax during their pregnancy.”This is simply not true. If you used to exercise before you got pregnant, you can carry on exercising after you became pregnant. Taking up regular exercise during your pregnancy is perfectly safe and is in fact healthy for both of you mummy & baby.
What kind of exercises can you do?
During my pregnancy with both of my girls, I kept up my exercise routines as normal. You can do most kinds of exercises such as: swimming, walking, running, yoga, weights and pilates.
Whatever you were doing before, just do it after to stay fit rather than to get fit.
Did you know:
That a study found that healthy eating and exercising reduces the need for a caesarean section!
Exercises you could consider:
If you haven’t been exercising and weren’t into the keep-fit scene then walking is ideal for you. Its gentle and it gets you fit in an easy sort of way.
It is ready available, it doesn’t cost you a penny and if you are comfortable doing it, you can do it for the whole nine months.
It really is a win win.
Although walking doesn’t need special clothing or any equipment, it is recommended that you:
- Wear comfortable clothes and flat shoes or trainers.
- Choose a flat-terrain route.
- Don’t forget to have water and sip it regularly.
- Walk early in the day when your energy-level still high.
- If you in a hot country, avoid the hot part of the day.
You can make walking part of your daily routine:
- Walk to work, provided you don’t work miles away,
- Walk into town.
- Walk to school if you have children to take to school.
Just leave the car where possible, walking is less stressful than driving and a lot more beneficial.
You can read more about walking during your pregnancy and the first year after you have your baby, all the benefits and the information regarding calories and more in the book below available from Amazon.
If you buy it by clicking the image below, our site will receive a small amount which helps keep this site completely free for expectant and new mothers and it will not cost you any extra.
Walking Through Pregnancy and Beyond: How Expectant and New Moms Can Walk Their Way Through a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy and First Year
To help with carrying the extra weight of the little miracle growing inside you and making the birth more manageable plus the added benefit of recovering after your baby’s arrival, you will be well advised to take up pilates.
Pilates in pregnancy could strengthen your body, help improve your balance and your flexibility without straining your joints.
As in the picture above, pilates is practiced on a mat. There is no jumping around and it incorporates breathing techniques in its’ exercises.
A word of caution though; after you get to the 16th week into pregnancy, avoid any exercises where you are going to lie on your back.
Another word of caution; don’t over stretch and if you feel the slightest pain, STOP immediately.
Is Pilates safe during pregnancy?
Although there is little research into pilates during pregnancy, there are few steps you can take to make it as safe as possible:
- Ideally, find a class for pregnant women. If there are none:
- Find a teacher who will do a one to one class and who’s trained to work with pregnant women.
- Tell your teacher how many weeks pregnant you are.
- If you are already into pilates before you got pregnant, do tell your teacher that you are pregnant now. They might have to adjust your exercises to suite your pregnancy or they might recommend a different class.
Cycling is a brilliant aerobic exercise. So, if you are used to cycling before you got pregnant, you can carry on as long as you are keeping your balance. As your bump gets bigger, your balance gets trickier. so be careful.
Alternatively, you can use a stationary bike at home or in the gym.
Swimming is, by far, my favourite. The water supports your bump’s weight and it puts no pressure on your back.
While you swimming at leisure you still can get your heart rate up without straining your joints.
It is really a great way to exercise and meet other pregnant mothers in aqua-natal classes.
The benefits of swimming for pregnant women:
What makes swimming one great exercise for you while you are pregnant:
- The water supports your body making it weightless.
- Low pressure on your joints.
- It is a strength conditioning exercise.
- It improves your circulation and muscle tone.
- It helps you sleep better.
Did you Know:
Swimming could shorten labour and decrease any possibility of complications at birth. How great is that!
It is any exercise that makes your heart go faster. Including the dance to music which typically carry this name. So as it is with any exercise take it slow to start off unless you are a seasoned fitness-fan before pregnancy.
This type of exercise is good for you during pregnancy and can really help to make your pregnancy a healthy one. It combines stretching with strength and toning and doing to to the music makes it more fun.
If you haven’t done aerobics before you got pregnant, have a chat with the instructor let them know that you are pregnant and how many weeks. They might have a set advice for you, things like, how long should your sessions be and how frequent.
Keeping your balance:
It goes without saying that as your bump grows, it will get very tricky to keep your balance!
So, during your exercise, make sure you:
- Stay on the ground at all times.
- For walking and cycling: FLAT-TERRAIN only.
- Flat shoes or trainers only.
The golden rule:
- Only do ” LOW-IMPACT ” exercises. Keeping at least one foot on the ground, that’s what low-impact mean, no jumping.
- If you stick to low-impact, you can do it through out your pregnancy, unless it becomes uncomfortable.
- At the slightest PAIN STOP immediately. You shouldn’t experience pain during your exercises.
The main benefits of exercise during pregnancy:
All aerobic exercises during pregnancy are very good for you and your baby, it could give you a healthier happier pregnancy, shorter labour and hopefully complication-free delivery.
This type of exercise makes you breath deeper and makes your heart beat faster, as a result your blood circulate much quicker giving your muscles more oxygen.
The extra oxygen doesn’t stop there it will give your baby all he/she needs.
Please watch the following valuable advice from, Elizabeth Mangum-Sarach the director of Birth Focus, that sums it all up:
Enjoy your pregnancy, really embrace it with all your heart. It is a miracle! You are one and in a very short time you are going to become two, giving birth to the most beautiful thing you will ever have.
So, take up exercise, it will help make your pregnancy so much nicer and DON’T listen to my mother, it is perfectly safe to do all the way up to your due-date if you can.
In my next post we are going to talk about ” Having sex during pregnancy.” Hey!!!
If you have any questions, leave them in the comment box below, you know I am going to answer them.
TILL NEXT TIME: