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Keeping fit in pregnancy

Keeping fit in pregnancy

Did you know that the more active and fit you are during your pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape as your baby grows, fit women labour easier too and naturally bounce back that bit quicker after baby is born.

Women can be unsure about exercise when expecting; how much is too much? What’s safe etc? The first thing to know is that exercise is not dangerous for your baby – there is actually evidence to say that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour.

Bear in mind the following hot tips when exercising:

As a general rule, you should be able to hold a conversation as you exercise when pregnant. If you become breathless as you talk, then you might be exercising too strenuously…. So take a break, catch your breath and have a few sips of water.

Don’t exhaust yourself. You may need to slow down as your pregnancy progresses or if your maternity team advises you to. If in doubt, consult your midwife or obstetrician.

If you weren’t active before you found out you were expecting, don’t suddenly take up very strenuous exercise. If you would like to start an aerobic exercise programme such as running, swimming, cycling, walking or aerobics classes, let your instructor know that you are expecting and begin with approx. 15 minutes of continuous exercise, three times a week, gradually increasing to 30-minute sessions, 4 times a week.

Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial.

Exercise tips when you’re pregnant:

  • always warm up before exercising, and cool down afterwards
  • try to keep active on a daily basis: half an hour of walking each day can be enough, but if you can’t manage that, any amount is better than nothing
  • drink plenty of water
  • if you go to exercise classes, make sure your teacher is properly qualified, and knows that you’re expecting as well as how many weeks pregnant you are
  • you might like to try swimming because the water will support your increased weight. Some local swimming pools provide aquanatal classes with qualified instructors.
  • exercises that have a risk of falling, such as horse riding, downhill skiing, ice hockey, gymnastics and cycling, should be performed with caution. Falls may risk damage to the baby