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Exercise During Pregnancy - The Do's and Don'ts

September 8th, 2017
Helga W.
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Exercise During Pregnancy - The Do's and Don'ts
Although the modern day woman is pretty clued up as to the safety and importance of exercise during pregnancy, I still get many questions as to the do’s and don’ts of being active while carrying a bun in the oven. Being a fitness trainer for over 13 years, I’ve heard a fair share of rather absurd pregnancy training myths and also seen some great athletes training up until the day they gave birth.

Here are my top tips to keep exercise during pregnancy safe, fun and functional:

Love the Water

Play in the pool. Whether you swim, do aqua jogging or partake in an aqua aerobics class, being in the water is a fantastic way to stay fit without feeling the discomfort of your growing belly. The water supports your weight, keeps you cool and reduces swelling.

Pre-pregnancy fitness matters

If you have been training intensely before your pregnancy, you can continue your training according to how you feel. Running and light weight training is safe to continue, as long as you are comfortable. If you are very unfit to start with, I would recommend easing into an exercise regime. Now is not the time to aim for a marathon, but I would definitely recommend some walking and Pilates to get you moving.

Listen to your body

If you are not well, your doctor has expressed concerns, your blood pressure is higher than it should be or you have pain, avoid any intense exercise. Your body needs you to be aware of the signs it is giving you.

no excuses

Pregnancy is not an excuse not to exercise. On the contrary, it should be a motivation for you to live an even healthier, stronger, fitter lifestyle. You don’t need to be Serena Williams, but get off the couch and keep your heart healthy and your muscles strong. Not only will it benefit you during the birth process, but exercise increases blood flow and oxygen circulation in the body and can also help give you a boost if you are feeling sluggish.

fab abs

Continuing to do traditional crunches and abdominal work is not the best idea, however doing standing core-training and Pilates can have a heap of benefits for post-pregnancy recovery. Pilates engages your deepest core muscles, pelvic floor, hips and spine. These are all the muscles you need to assist during birth and also to support your body posture. Make sure your Pilates instructor is knowledgeable as to pregnancy specific exercises as not all the movements will be safe.
Proud Mummy Blog Image 11

Drink up

Whether you are doing a 7 km run, walking 30 minutes or doing aqua aerobics, make sure you stay well hydrated. It is best to exercise in controlled temperatures and avoid a high body temperature in humid or hot conditions. You most likely already experience irregularity in controlling your body temperature so overheating can cause further nausea and dizziness.

Prop up with a pillow

After the first trimester, avoid exercising while lying flat on your back. Unnecessary pressure on major veins can reduce blood flow to your heart, brain and uterus. This can make you dizzy, short of breath, or nauseated. All you need to do is put a pillow or a foam wedge behind your back to prop up your upper body as this will relieve pressure off the vein.
Skip dangerous sport, wear comfortable gear, and do something you enjoy! Whether you are dancing in your lounge or hitting the gym, what really matters is that you are moving, staying healthy and having a great time!

Tell us about your favourite pregnancy workout below!

Helga x

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