We all know that it’s important to stay active when you’re pregnant, but how much exercise should a pregnant woman get and how do you know if you’re overdoing it?
Some of my friends have wanted to look as unpregnant as possible throughout their pregnancies, and they found that exercise was a good way of making them feel like they were in fact not pregnant. Exercise however, is good in pregnancy and it depends upon your pre-pregnancy exercise level as to how far you should push yourself. So if you were very active before pregnancy, for most people it is easy and it is good for them to continue that level of activity during their pregnancy.
You can increase your levels of exercise so long as your body tolerates it, like any other person who is exercising, you just need to be aware that your body is changing during pregnancy and you must be aware of those changes so that you don’t injure yourself, for instance your centre of gravity changes as you get bigger and you want to make sure that you don’t fall and injure joints or the baby.
Pregnancy classes that are tailored for pregnant women are still recommended for a lot of women who are exercise fanatics. However for some women who were incredibly fit and very active pre-pregnancy, those classes can be a little bit too easy. For those women who are just starting out on an exercise program however, such pregnancy exercise classes are ideal.
There are real benefits to being active during pregnancy – women who are physically fit tolerate the pregnancy itself better and generally speaking they have easier labour and delivery experiences and times. This is because their muscle tone is better – when it comes to pushing during labour, it has been researched and found that they are more effective at pushing and they generally tolerate the fatigue, that comes along with a normal pregnancy, a little bit better.
Some superb exercises for pregnant women include . Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for pregnant women because there is really no weight bearing on any joints so there is very little risk of injury or of falling – it’s pretty hard to fall whilst you are floating in a pool so it is an excellent form of exercise and there are cardiovascular benefits also.
However, during the last trimester of the pregnancy, you have to be aware that there is increased risk of stumbling or falling due to the change in your centre of gravity. For some women there are particular complications of pregnancy such as placenta previa where there is a risk of bleeding, or blood pressure problems, then it is not recommended that they exercise. So there are certain situations where exercise is not recommended for the pregnant woman. However, for the majority of pregnant women, it is totally fine but in such specific situations it is better that the general practitioner or doctor is consulted.
So, to recap, listen to your body, if you feel up to it, it can only be a good diversion as it creates endorphins and makes you feel good.
Check out these videos for some good exercises for pregnant women:
- The Essential Exercise and Birthball Handbook for Pregnancy and Beyond
- Essential Oils and Herbs for Pregnancy, Babies, Labour and Delivery
- The Fit and Healthy Pregnancy Guide
- Pregnancy Yoga Classes
- Baby Bump Fitness