Keeping Baby Fit – Exercises to do During Pregnancy

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Maintaining a regular routine of exercise throughout your pregnancy can be a great way for women to stay healthy and feel their best. Regular exercise throughout pregnancy helps to decrease some of the most common discomforts that women experience, such as fatigues and back aches. What’s more, while you may not be focusing on weight loss programs during this time, there is some evidence that physical activity could prevent the onset of gestational diabetes, build stamina for delivery and labor, and relieve stress.

If you were physically active before your pregnancy, you should speak to your personal trainer in London about how you can continue your activity in moderation. However, keep in mind that whether you’re in the middle of a 12 week at home workout plan or not, you shouldn’t be attempting to exercise at your former level. Instead, make sure you’re doing what’s most comfortable for you.

Following are some of the safest exercises to get involved with during pregnancy, to ensure that you and baby remain as fit as possible.

Swimming

For many experts, swimming is not only a great part of many weight loss programs, but it’s also the ideal option for exercise during pregnancy. Because you’re in water, there’s no chance of you accidentally falling on your stomach and injuring your baby, and you also have access to a wide range of motion without harming your joints. No matter how big you get, when you’re swimming you’ll feel weightless, and there’s plenty of classes that have been designed specifically for mothers.

Make sure that you stick to strokes that are comfortable and don’t hurt your back, neck, or shoulder muscles. For example, the breaststroke is often a good choice, because there’s no need to rotate your belly or torso. Be careful about how you enter the water too, don’t jump or dive, just slip into the water as peacefully as possible.

Walking

If you had never exercised for a single day in your entire life, walking around the neighborhood would still be a great way to get started. You’ll get a fantastic cardiovascular workout without placing too much pressure on your ankles and knees, and you’ll be able to exercise wherever you are, without having to sign up to a special class.

Keep in mind that as your stomach starts to grow larger, you may lose some of your balance and coordination. Because of this, it’s important to stick to smooth surfaces and watch out for paths that have obstacles or potholes that could deter you. Also, remember to wear shoes that are supportive, and capable of caring for your feet as they swell during the later trimesters.

Yoga

The chances are that you’ve heard of baby-bump yoga before today. In fact, prenatal yoga classes have been around for quite some time as a way of helping mothers to maintain their flexibility and keep their joints limber. Also, the fact that yoga is great for boosting your immune system, helps you to relax, and stimulates circulation will also give you some important techniques to turn to during labor.

As with any other exercise, skip the positions that start to really challenge your balance as your pregnancy progresses. You may also find that it’s a good idea to avoid poses that require you to lie flat on your back during your second trimester, as this can put extra pressure on your veins as your uterus becomes heavier.

Weight Training

Considering most exercise routines for pregnant women encourage mothers to take it easy, it may be surprising to learn that weight training is a great option for keeping you and your baby fit. In fact, lifting weights is an ideal way to prepare your body for the heavy lifting you’ll need to get used to when the baby arrives. At the same time, it helps to counteract some of the risks of injury associated with pregnancy with strengthening joints and muscles.

Obviously, you need to keep the amount of weight you’re lifting at a reasonable level, so if you’re already using weights as part of your regular workout, you’ll need to reduce the amount you’re used to by about half. Remember lifting weights that are too heavy puts significant strain on your abdomen, which can be bad for the baby.

Image Source: Flickr

Marc Dressen, MSc
Personal Trainer in London
www.marcdressen.com

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