We’ve all heard that fitness and nutrition work hand in hand for a healthy lifestyle, and this applies even more during pregnancy. In fact, it can help keep your weight under control, give you more strength for labour and even make it easier to recover after the birth. Just take it easy and consult your GP or lead maternity carer before you start any exercise programme. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Action junkie – if you’re used to exercising and your pregnancy is problem free, there’s no reason you can’t carry on, so long as you’re comfortable.
Couch addicts – if you’re not used to regular exercise, now’s definitely not the time to start a strenuous regime. Gentle workouts like walking, swimming and yoga can help keep you fit without overdoing it, and they’re suitable for all stages of pregnancy.
Being gentle - it’s best to avoid high risk sports and exercise like horse riding, squash and skiing until after you’ve given birth. This is because of the risk of injury, which could impact on your baby. You should also steer clear of exercises that put lots of strain on your abdominal muscles, like stomach crunches
Keeping sensible - whatever exercise you do, you need to stop immediately if you feel overheated, sick, and faint, or you have any pain. If it doesn’t feel right – it probably isn’t. If you’re in a class, just make sure that your instructor knows you’re pregnant before you start.
One exercise to rule them all - pelvic floor exercises are a good choice during pregnancy and done regularly can help to prevent urinary incontinence after the birth. Aim to do at least one set of 10 slow squeezes every day.
Ask the experts - If you have any questions about the type of exercise you can do, check with you GP or lead maternity carer. You should also run it by them before you start any new routine.