Here are some common questions posed by pregnant mum’s with regards to fitness during pregnancy.
Is it safe for me to exercise during pregnancy?
Yes! If you are a healthy individual who is having a smooth pregnancy, it is extremely safe for you to exercise during pregnancy. If fact, maintaining a regular exercise routine throughout your pregnancy can help you stay healthy and feel your best.
Besides improving your posture and decreasing some common discomforts such as backaches and fatigue, physical activity may prevent gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy), relieve stress, decrease labour time and build more stamina needed for labour and delivery.
Who should not exercise?
If you have a medical problem, such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes, exercise may not be advisable. Exercise may also be harmful if you have a pregnancy-related condition such as:
Bleeding or spotting
Threatened or recurrent miscarriage
Previous premature births or history of early labor
How often should I exercise?
If you are just starting an exercise program as a way of improving your health during your pregnancy, you should start very slowly and be careful not to over exert yourself.
Aim for a twenty minute work out programme, two to three times a week. Do also consult you GP before starting any exercise programme.
What types of exercise are best when I’m pregnant?
The safest and most productive activities are swimming, brisk walking, dancing, indoor stationary cycling, yoga and low-impact aerobics (taught by a certified aerobics instructor). These activities carry little risk of injury, benefit your entire body, and can be continued until birth.
What should I be careful about?
Avoid activities that increase your risk of falls or injury, such as high-impact sports like soccer or hockey. Even mild injuries to the “tummy” area can be serious when you’re pregnant. After the first three months of pregnancy, it’s best to avoid exercising while lying on your back, since the weight of the baby may interfere with blood circulation. Also avoid long periods of standing.
Because of our hot weather, it is best to exercise in the early morning or late evening to help you avoid getting overheated. If you’re exercising indoors, make sure the room has enough ventilation. Consider using a fan to help keep yourself cool. Drink plenty of fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
As the pregnancy progresses, reduce the intensity level. Remember that even if you are exercising less intensely, the actual level of what you are doing is more difficult, due to the added weight of the baby.
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