Exercising and Pregnancy

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Keeping Fit

While most women will want to maintain fitness during pregnancy, you don’t want to do anything that could put yourself or your baby at risk. There is so much conflicting information out there, but you’ll be pleased to know that many forms of exercise have benefits during all stages of a normal pregnancy. The only thing to remember is that every pregnancy is different, so even if this isn’t your first baby, consult your GP, midwife, or obstetrician before starting any form of exercise.

Do’s:

  1. Always keep moving whether it’s just walking the dog to the park or a lap around the block – the goal should be 30 minutes a day. 
  2. Swimming, yoga, stationary cycling, and low impact aerobics are all great choices when you have a baby on board.
  3. Find a professional that you can work with for a tailor-made program.  It could be a personal trainer, through an online program, physio or pilates instructor, or someone who understands your needs and has experience in pregnancy related training.
  4. It’s always a good idea to involve pelvic floor exercises in your routines. 
  5. Make sure to find supportive maternity activewear that will keep you cool and comfortable. 
  6. Always exercise in well ventilated areas.
  7. Stay hydrated!

Don’ts:

  1. Don’t ignore any signs of overheating or overexertion, and ensure you never work so hard that you run out of breath.
  2. Don’t ignore warning signs like light headedness, dizziness or feeling nauseous. These signs can indicate a range issues. Stop exercising immediately, rest, drink plenty of water and consult a medical practitioner if needed. 
  3. Don’t do exercises that can involve your stomach, lying flat on your back, or any strenuous or contact activity. 
  4. Don’t do exercises that are repetitive high impact with lots of turning and twists, high stepping or sudden stops.

Some exercises you can try at home:

  • Quadruped arm/leg raises
  • Wall squats
  • Modified push ups
  • Lunges
  • Heel raises
  • Bicep curls 
  • Shoulder abduction

Whatever you choose to do, remember that if you’re able to stay fit during pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period can be so much easier!

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