So should you exercise when you are pregnant? It used to be a bit of a taboo to exercise when pregnant but it is actually good for you to maintain a baseline fitness which will also help you to get back into training after the birth. Obviously you must take care when you are pregnant and exercising and not expect to increase your fitness. If you have any doubts regarding your personal situation then it is best to consult your GP before commencing exercise.
So what are the benefits of exercising when pregnant?
- Improved circulation
- Reduced swelling
- Reduced leg cramps
- Easier, short labours
- Eased recovery
- Reduced maternal weight gain
- Reduction in labour pain
- Eased gastrointestinal discomforts
- Better self image
So what is the recommended amount of exercise during pregnancy?
Aerobic exercise – this should be 3-5 sessions a week lasting for 20-30 mins each. Low impact is best so swimming, cycling, walking, low impact aerobics etc
Resistance training – this should be 2-3 times a week and you should keep it to 1-2 sets per exercise doing 8-10 exercises at a time. You should use all major muscle groups including abdominal and pelvic floor.
There are also lots of classes for pregnant ladies eg a special yoga class. These are definitely good to go to and you might make a few friends in the same position too – brucey bonus!
If you want anymore tips then check out the NHS website http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/pregnancy/Pages/Exerciseandpregnancy.aspx
And if you are reading this then congratulations and good luck!