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Great Non-Strenuous Exercises During Pregnancy
non-strenuous, regular exercise is considered healthy, safe and
beneficial for most pregnant women. Not only can exercise of this nature
help to alleviate some of pregnancy’s most uncomfortable symptoms and
assist a woman to prepare for childbirth by strengthening muscles and
increasing endurance, it can also help an expectant mother to feel good –
and at no time is this more important than during pregnancy.
How much exercise should a pregnant woman do?
guidance and advice of a qualified health professional should always be
sought before a woman undertakes any exercise regime during pregnancy.
However, for women that are healthy and have a low-risk pregnancy, 30
minutes of non-strenuous exercise per day is generally recommended.
is important to note that the type and intensity of the exercise that
is undertaken should depend on the woman’s health and level of fitness
before falling pregnant.
good news is that, for most women, the incorporation of exercise into
the life of the pregnant woman is as appropriate and useful as the
consumption of a healthy diet, selection of maternity clothes and other preparations for the baby’s arrival.
What are some of the recommended types of exercise?
best types of exercise for pregnant women get the heart pumping, help
to keep joints supple, control weight gain and are significant in
helping muscles prepare for the demands of labour and childbirth.
of exercise that are generally considered safe for expectant mothers up
until the last few months of pregnancy and with the approval of her
doctor or midwife, include:
Walking is one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise as it
helps to keep the woman fit, without causing jarring of the knees and
ankles. Walking is safe throughout pregnancy and has the advantage of
easily being included in a woman’s daily routine.
Swimming is widely regarded as the safest and best form of exercise
for pregnant women. Because it uses both large and small muscle groups,
it provides a range of cardiovascular benefits and helps women to
experience a sense of weightlessness even when extra weight is gained
Aquanatal classes: Aquanatal
classes are enjoyable for many women during pregnancy. These classes
have the benefit of being gentle on joints and can reduce a symptom
widely experienced in late pregnancy – swelling in the legs.
Yoga is a preferred activity of many pregnant women because it can not
only promote relaxation and an increased sense of wellbeing, it can
help to maintain muscle tone and flexibility, while limiting the impact
on joints. Because of the effects of relaxin – a hormone that increases
suppleness – pregnant women should be mindful not to overstretch.
Because pilates incorporates flexibility and strength training with
awareness of the body, breathing rhythms and relaxation, it can be very
beneficial for a pregnant woman. The deep stabilising muscles that are
engaged during pilates target the tummy and pelvic floor – two areas
that can be weakened in the course of pregnancy.
One of the best things about dance as a suitable form of
non-strenuous exercise for pregnant women is that it can be done
absolutely everywhere. While dancing to your favourite music can of
course be fun, moves that require you to jump, spin or leap should not
be undertaken and sudden changes of direction should also be avoided.
can produce many positive impacts for pregnant women. It prepares a
woman’s body for childbirth but can also increase the speed at which the
woman’s body gets back in shape once the baby is delivered and there is
no need for maternity dresses and other maternity wear.
women should carefully choose the activities in which they engage and
always seek the advice and approval of a health care professional. The
good news is that, for most women, a number of exercises that will not
harm the woman or her baby can safely be undertaken.
such as running and weight training are often fine for some women who
have engaged in these activities pre-pregnancy but should be modified as
the belly grows larger.
- Activities that put the woman at risk of slips and falls – such as: cycling, skiing and horseriding – are best avoided.