Congratulations! When are you due?
If exercise during pregnancy is good for you and your baby, why not do something to benefit both of you?
The most recent guidelines
recommend that healthy pregnant women should get exercise for the duration of their pregnancy, unless medically advised not to do so. Recommendations include e.g. the following, taken from various sources:
- At least two training sessions per week
- 30 minutes per day
- A mix of cardio (e.g. cycling, swimming, walking) and weight training
The importance of finding the right exercise program cannot be overemphasised, i.e. what is right for Mom and Baby.
Weight gain during pregnancy will be reduced, and you will enjoy other health benefits.
The one-word summary: #Personalise
Reducing health risks during pregnancy
Exercise for you, as expectant mother, may
- reduce your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure,
- lower the incidence of back ache (well-toned, stronger core muscles provide better support to your spine and growing belly),
- lower your risk of experiencing blood clots,
- improve your blood circulation, which will reduce swelling and lower your risk of varicose veins,
- improve your emotional health, through the release of endorphins. Read: more relaxation and better sleep.
The one-word summary: #Benefits
Research shows the benefits
Your placenta is Nature’s feeding and breathing portal for your baby. Nutrients and blood move through the placenta. Exercising mothers have more well-developed placentas, according to Dr James Clapp, author of ‘Exercise in pregnancy’.
Lasting benefits abound
Fit moms-to-be usually have
- a lower ceasarian rate,
- shorter labours,
- a lower incidence of episiotomies,quicker recovery after delivery,
- a very real chance of fitting into their favourite jeans, sooner!
How, what & when?
Don’t burst into a brand new exercise regime once you are pregnant. Seek professional advice regarding a training program that is just right for you and your baby, as soon as you’ve heard about your little miracle’s pending arrival. Try to exercise full-term, to enjoy all of the health benefits available to you.
Keep on working your activities and routines from before your pregnancy, and avoid contact and high-risk sports, like skiing & horse riding, for obvious reasons.
Some recommended activities
- Weight bearing exercises like walking, training and jogging on land are great for the maintenance of bone density during pregnancy, as you are using gravity to train your muscles responsible for balance and posture,
- Pregnancy Pilates,
- Pregnancy yoga,
- PreggiBellies classes.
Try to train with fellow miracle-carriers (pregnant women) and refrain from trying to keep up with non-pregnant friends and women at large! Does your trainer have experience in pregnancy training? REGAIN recommends it!
Pushing too hard?
Don’t! You’ll have ample opportunity to do so during labour. If you are worried that you might be overdoing it, here’s what to do. Don’t stress. Grab a water bottle, comfortable attire and get moving! Participate in any non-risk activity while you are able to take the ‘talk-test’. If you can chat during your exercise, you are not overdoing it. This provides a good reason to ask a friend to join you, chatting away as you go! As soon as your conversation becomes strained, ease up a little until you are breathing and chatting as before. #TalkTest