Been a fitness enthusiast and now pregnant? Wondering whether all talk of slowing down and stopping your routine is correct?
For starters, if you’ve always exercised then it’s mostly safe to continue during a normal pregnancy. There are clear stated benefits of staying physically active during pregnancy, such as:
- Increase in physical energy
- Improvement in muscle tone strength & endurance which consequently helps through labor and delivery
- Improved blood flow keeping the body active and healthy
- Reduced backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling, which are common issues experienced during pregnancy
- Prevention of/ treats gestational diabetes
- Help in sleeping better
- Help in elevating the mood and lessening those dreaded mood swings. Most importantly, regular exercising helps alleviates depression, especially in postpartum
- Quicker return to per-pregnancy body and weight
When designing your pregnancy fitness program, do however be mindful of:
- The intensity and fitness regime followed per-pregnancy, one’s current fitness levels and how one’s feeling through each trimester
- If you’ve never exercised, keep it mild with walking, basic squats (to open pelvic outlet for baby) and pelvic tilts (strengthens abdomen muscles and reduces chances of backpain from labour)
- Avoid exercises involving contact sports or those which are high impact like skipping, jumping, hopping.
- Avoid exercises involving balancing or rapid movements as falling is likely (the center of gravity/equilibrium shifts from the extra weight on the belly which impacts body balance)
- Keep yourself hydrated & avoid strenuous exercising in hot humid conditions.
- Most important: ALWAYS consult your doctor about every exercise before starting.
It is useful to know that research states that exercise in pregnancy (when done mindfully) does not lead to increased risks of miscarriage, birth defects or premature babies.
Now with facts separated from fiction, gear up mommas & have a fit and healthy pregnancy! Because not working is out is even more unhealthy for the baby.