The moment that you find out that you are pregnant is a wonderful time, that you will remember for the rest of your life. However, you do not want to put your life on hold just because you are helping another one to grow! Some things you will have to give up such as smoking, and some things you probably should give up such as alcohol and caffeine – but that does not mean that you cannot still carry on doing some of the things that you have always been doing, like a good workout.
Of course, when you are pregnant you will have to alter your exercise routine slightly to ensure that you do not do any unintentional harm to your child. On the other hand, there are plenty of exercises that you can do whilst you are carrying a child that not only benefits you, but benefits them too! After all, the healthier you are, the healthier they are.
There will be times when the last thing that you want to do in the world is get up off your feet, but maintaining a healthy exercise routine is a great way to ensure that you stay healthy throughout your pregnancy. You don’t need to be running marathons or swimming across rivers, but it is a good idea to keep yourself generally fit.
That is why we have put together this quick and easy guide to exercising whilst pregnant. By following these steps, you will be able to stave off all that baby weight without putting your child’s health at risk:
1: Talk to your doctor.
Before you even think about putting those trainers on, have a quick trip over to your doctor. They will be able to check you out, and make sure that you are fit and healthy – and that your child is. You should also talk through with them your previous medical history, as well as your mother’s pregnancy history, so that they are aware of any potential problems that could come up. As long as they give you the all clear, you can get started!
2: Consider your current fitness.
There is absolutely no point in expecting to be able to run a mile when you are pregnant if, before you become pregnant, you could barely run down the street! Your exercise and fitness aims should be slightly below what you would aim for if you were not pregnant – not more than! Many women feel as though they are indestructible when they are pregnant, but that does not mean that you should push your body far beyond what it is comfortable with.
3: Listen to your body throughout.
Our bodies are constantly trying to talk to us, and if we pay attention and listen, then we will always get forewarning about something that is going to happen. For example, if you feel nauseous, stop what you doing! You are almost certainly going to vomit, unlike other women who may just need a five minute time out. Similarly, if you feel dizzy, any abdominal pain, or start to bleed vaginally, you should go to a doctor immediately. It could be nothing, but wouldn’t you rather hear that from a medical person?
4: Try out swimming.
Swimming really is the perfect exercise for pregnant women, and for so many reasons. For a start, the natural buoyancy of the water will support your pregnant belly like nothing else has, and if you have been struggling with a sore back and sore ankles, this will be blessed relief. Swimming is also the only exercise that naturally stretches absolutely all of the muscles in your body, which makes it a great workout. One of the reasons so many pregnant women avoid exercise is because they do not want to get all sweaty and yucky . . . something that is not a problem when you are already in water! Take the lengths at your own pace, and you will quickly learn to love it.
5: Think about joining a pregnancy Zumba class.
There is nothing more fun than zumba: if you have never heard of it before, it is kind of like dance aerobics, but to salsa and Latin dance music. It is so ridiculously fun that you don’t even realise that you are working out, and just half an hour can burn off hundreds of calories. On the other hand, if you are someone who is naturally awkward and can get a little bit embarrassed, then see if a gym or dance studio near you has pregnancy classes. These workshops will only have women in them that totally understand exactly how you are feeling, and you can all exercise happily together.
6: Go for a little walk.
Exercise does not have to be strenuous or exhausting to be good for you. A simple walk is a great way to keep good posture and help your back muscles loosen up, and it is something that you can do without losing your breath. Walks are perfect for doing with other people, so you could even decide to get a walking group going that could explore your local area. Fresh air and vitamin D are wonderful things to have, and once again, you won’t even really notice that you are exercising as you see the beauty of nature and catch up with your friends. If you have a dog, even better – you have no excuse!
7: And last but by no means least . . . Yoga.
You didn’t think we’d get through a pregnancy exercise article without mentioning yoga, did you? It has been hailed as a miracle cure by many pregnant women because it is not only a great workout, but many claim that it has reduced the pain that they have felt in labor. If you ever needed a reason to go to a yoga class, that would be it!
And there you have it! You now have absolutely no excuse not to go and exercise as you wait for your beautiful child to arrive.