7 Things to Know About Exercise and Pregnancy
For many women, exercise is an important and enjoyable part of their pregnancy. Your doctor or health care professional is best placed to advise you on an appropriate exercise program, but some level of physical activity is often recommended for many pregnant women – for its physical and emotional benefits.
Here we take a look at some interesting things to know about exercise and pregnancy…
#1: The health and social benefits of regular exercise for many pregnant women are well documented. If a woman has an uncomplicated pregnancy, it is usually possible for her to participate in some level of physical activity for the duration of the pregnancy, provided that this is recommended by her doctor.
#2: Popular forms of exercise during pregnancy include: walking, swimming and classes such as yoga, pilates and tai chi. While some women may continue to run and take part in more vigorous activities such as contact sports and spin classes, this is generally not recommended unless the woman was involved in these pursuits prior to her pregnancy.
#3: Many women are delighted to find that fashionable and comfortable maternity wear also extends to exercise clothing. Fabrics such as lycra are often comfortably worn by pregnant women and offer some support to the growing baby belly. Also, such clothing is available in a range of stylish and on-trend maternity styles, so that a woman does not need to feel daggy or ‘unfashionable’ while exercising.
#4: The rise of stylish maternity wear has thankfully extended to maternity swimwear. Forget about grandma-esque bathing suits; maternity swimwear is now available in a range of gorgeous patterns and prints as well as solid colours. With bikini, tankini and one piece options, together with swim skirts and sarongs, pregnant women can feel comfortable, fashionable and flattered as they relax near or exercise in water. With the popularity and evident benefits of water based exercise such as swimming and aqua aerobics, stylish maternity swimwear is a huge relief to many pregnant women!
#5: So long as it is safe and you are given the go ahead to do so, exercise during pregnancy brings many women the peace of mind that they are doing something positive and beneficial for themselves and their baby.
#6: For women, the physical benefits of exercise during pregnancy may include:
· The strengthening of back muscles. These muscles help to control back pain and the stress placed on your back by your growing belly
· Postural improvements
· Combatting feelings of tiredness
· Stress release
· Controlling weight gain
· Improvements in sleep
· Preparing your body for labour
#7: As every pregnancy is different, it is important that a woman discusses their exercise plan with their doctor. If your doctor gives you the all-clear to exercise, it is overwhelmingly recommended that you listen to your body and be guided by how it is feeling before, during and after exercise.
Exercise during pregnancy is known to have a range of physical, social and emotional benefits and is something that many pregnant women can enjoy if given permission by their doctor to do so. As there is a range of activities and structured classes that are appropriate for the majority of expectant mothers, it possible for almost everyone to find an activity that is enjoyable and beneficial.