Pregnancy exercise could help to boost your energy, your mood, ease your discomfort and just help you feel better. Pregnancy can turn you into a sloth if you are tired and achey but some exercise might ease it and help you feel a bit better.
You might fancy a class – like pilates, yoga, pregnancy aerobics and aquanatal – or you might just get out for more walks. You might also continue with your usual fitness regime. Just listen to your body and don’t over do it so take it gently as your body grows and changes.
5 Tips for Pregnancy Exercise from Yoganic
1) Stretch – Maintaining good posture throughout pregnancy can help to avoid back and hip pain. Also a regular stretching routine can help with leg cramps and improve circulation.
2) Listen to your body – Now is the time to really take notice of even the little things and not time to challenge yourself with a new sport, just keep moving!
3) Keep active and adapt – Continue your usual routine (check with your Dr if you are unsure) and adapt as you go. Avoid high impact and dial down the reps/ distance/ intensity a little.
4) Pelvic floor exercises – This is essential for during labour as well as after birth. Keeping your pelvic floor strong can help during birth and speed up healing afterwards.
5) Relax – Focus on a positive pregnancy and birth. Use breathing techniques to stay calm and take some time out for self care everyday even just for 5 minutes.
Debbie Donaldson runs a range of pregnancy exercise and postnatal fitness sessions in Newcastle and Tyneside.
“If you are pregnant, you may be wondering if it safe to exercise in pregnancy. The simple answer is yes, although I would recommend that you get your midwife to agree it is ok for you to exercise. You may need to modify your exercise and attend classes specifically for pregnant women, where the teacher has specialist knowledge.
Exercising in pregnancy can improve posture, relieve stiffness and, most importantly, increase energy levels. Combined with sensible eating, exercise also helps to control weight gain. Your body may also recover from pregnancy and birth quicker if you exercise during pregnancy. Your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles should regain strength sooner and you will find it easier to return to your pre-pregnancy shape if your muscles are toned and stretched. So feel free to get moving, feel confident about your changing body and enjoy your pregnancy.”
The NHS guidance states:
*Don’t exhaust yourself and if you are unable to hold a conversation during your exercise, it could be too strenuous.
*Exercise doesn’t have to strenuous – it can just be about getting active so gentle walking or swimming is also beneficial.
*Warm up and warm down
*If you are going to classes, make sure your instructor knows you are pregnant and, ideally, see an instructor who is trained/ experienced in pregnancy fitness.