So yes, I’m pregnant, gaining weight, eating lots to satisfy cravings and because I’m feeling so nauseous, I’m not really feeling like exercising. Sad but true.
I am however 15 weeks through and although I am still quite lethargic and vomiting most days I know that being mobile and exercising during my pregnancy is both good for me and my bub.
I didn’t exercise during my first pregnancy but I was working full time and my job allowed me to get out if the office and see clients which allowed me to do lots of walking. I also walked to and from the bus stop to get to work and always got off a few stops shorter than needed and walked. Simply because it felt good and I enjoyed it. I still gained 17kg with my first pregnancy however I ate reasonably well and found that the weight fell off and I was back to pre baby weight within 7 weeks from giving birth to my little man. I think perhaps this was because I was running in adrenalin as my bub who is now 2 didn’t sleep, suffered reflux and I was simply a thousand miles per hour!
Exercise is good for you in pregnancy, and is perfectly safe. However, it’s thought that as many as three quarters of women with a healthy pregnancy don’t do enough exercise.
Taking daily exercise won’t harm you or your baby, and can also help to prevent pregnancy and birth complications, such as pre-eclampsia. It may also help you to have a shorter labour and increase your chances of giving birth vaginally. Let’s face it, labour can be very intense and it felt like I had ran 10 marathons by the time by 5hour labour had delivered my gorgeous little man. I’m not sure how some women survive long labours. I certainly praise them!
Being active and exercising regularly before and during pregnancy will help with –
Keep pregnancy niggles, such as backache and pelvic girdle pain, constipation and fatigue, at bay.
Feel better about the changes that are happening to your pregnant body.
Maintain a healthy weight, although fluid can attribute to weight gain so perhaps don’t weigh yourself too much, go off how your feeling and looking.
Get a better night’s sleep.
Help to reduce or prevent depression again both during and after birth and also can improve your self-esteem.
Prepare your body and mind for the demands of labour and birth, as mentioned I felt like I’d ran a marathon!
Get back into shape after your baby is born. It’s amazing how the muscles remember what it’s like to feel good and by doing simple exercise during pregnancy you will recover at a quicker pace.
If you develop diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes), exercise can also help you to manage your blood sugar levels.
So now I hear you asking, what exercise do I recommend? Well I find that the best exercise isn’t strenuous but will get your heart pumping without being breathless, doesn’t cause soreness the next day, won’t have you feeling exhausted but helps with preparing your body for labour and what’s next.
I recommend exercises such as Low impact walking, swimming, aqua natal / aqua aerobics classes and cycling on a stationary exercise bike, are all good and safe forms of exercise, as long as you don’t push yourself. Never leave yourself breathless or struggling.
Pregnancy yoga and Pilates are good for strengthening and toning, though you should find a registered, qualified teacher who is experienced in teaching pregnant women.
Also try to vary the type of exercise you do. Mix it up with aerobic exercise, such as swimming or walking, and strength and conditioning exercise, such as yoga or Pilates, is ideal. Aim for a total of at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity, most, if not all, days of the week. Doing three, 10-minute sessions in a day is just as good as one 30-minute session, if that fits into your lifestyle better.
Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be formal to have an effect. Any activity that you can fit into your everyday life, such as walking to the shops, taking the stairs instead if the lift / elevator and doing housework also counts.
Just remember, pregnancy is tough on your body so don’t push yourself and if you feel fatigued or short of breath please seek medical advice.