How much weight you put on during your pregnancy can vary depending on your height but it’s common for expectant mothers to put on 11 – 18 kilograms during their pregnancy. Specialists actually do recommend pregnant women engage in regular physical activity and there are safe and easy ways to get fit even when you’re carrying your baby. It’s a busy time, but in between choosing maternity wear and painting the new nursery, make sure you do find some time to exercise during your week. If in any doubt, always check with your doctor for advice.
Swimming is a fantastic sport for pregnancy because it is a low impact sport. The water keeps you cool and supports your frame while you build strength, tone your body and improve your circulation. If you already swim regularly, you can continue with your usual routine unless you have outstanding medical concerns. In that case, please check with you doctor. If you rarely exercise but want to keep fit during pregnancy, start slow, perhaps with an aquanatal class, water stretching class or a light swimming routine. You can swim 20 minutes a day right up to until delivery.
Low Impact Aerobics
Low impact aerobics are safe for most pregnant women. Aerobics helps your circulation, exercises your heart and lungs and speeds up your metabolism. You can build muscle strength too, which can enhance your delivery experience. Avoid high jumps or kicks and be sure to avoid slippery surfaces.
Walking is an excellent choice. It is easy on the joints and good for your heart. Check your own comfort level and go for a brisk walk if you like. Try for 20 – 30 minutes of solid walking a few times a week. Be sure to wear shoes with good grip and avoid bumpy roads.
It may be surprising to know that jogging is actually appropriate for pregnant women. A light 15 minute session three times a week is fine if you're a regular jogger. Drink plenty of water and take it easier in the last stages of your pregnancy. Make sure you have comfortable clothes that don’t chafe – an suitable outfit for your jogging sessions would be short maternity dresses with leggings. If you’re new to jogging, you may want consider deferring taking up this sport until after your delivery and try a less strenuous form of exercise.
Pilates are excellent for pregnancies, helping you build abdominal, pelvic floor and back muscles and helping set the foundations for a smooth delivery. Pilates can be adapted to suit your needs and you can do them alone in the comfort of your home. If you’re new to Pilates, start off by signing up for a pre-natal Pilates class to learn the basics.
If you’ve already done some weights or have a solid fitness routine before you conceive, weight training is a great way to build strength and gain extra flexibility. Avoid going too fast if you haven’t done weight training before and keep to gentle levels of weight.
Exercises to Avoid
· Heavy Duty Weight Training – creates too much stress on your muscles and bones.
· Any exercise that involves you lying on your back for length periods of time – this can cut blood and oxygen flow to your baby by compressing one of your major arteries.
· Any exercise that involves you standing too long.
· All contact sports.
· Scuba diving – puts your baby at risk of decompression sickness
· Complicated Stretching or Yoga Practices – where you’re required to hold your breath for a long time.
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Eating Well During Pregnancy
During pregnancy you don’t have to eat mountains of food – although you may need a little extra than you would normally. The important thing is to get the right nutrition for yourself and your developing bub, and eat enough kilojoules to meet your energy requirements. As well as adequate vitamins and minerals, you may need more of a few particular nutrients – iron, folate (folic acid), and iodine.