Teacher | Blogger | Mom
Exercising during pregnancy is a great way to keep yourself and your growing baby healthy. Exercise tends to be associated with losing weight or training for a physical event. But when it comes to pregnancy, you’re not – or shouldn’t be – doing either of those things. What exercise will give you, is a healthy body that will cope with the rigours of child birth and help get your body back to the shape you want, once your baby is born and you have time to think about yourself.
Suitable Work Out Ideas
Eating well and getting enough rest are both essential preparation for a healthy pregnancy. However, working out is also something you should definitely make time for. Safe but healthy types of exercises that are suitable during pregnancy include:
- Swimming – moving in the water challenges your muscles and gets your heart working, but is also supportive to your body as you swim or complete some aqua aerobics routines.
- Lifting small hand weights – another exercise that works your muscles but can be done in different positions that are comfortable and suitable during pregnancy.
- Walking – while it is ok to run or jog during pregnancy, particularly early on, if you’re looking for a regular exercise you can continue right up until your due date and after the birth too, then walking is the perfect option.
What to Avoid
So far, so safe. But, even if you’re a fitness oriented individual who partakes in many different sports, there are some you should definitely avoid when you’re pregnant. While it might seem obvious, it never hurts to be reminded of the pregnancy exercise don’ts:
- Sports with a danger of falling – horseback riding, ski-ing and bike-riding. While you might have been doing these sports all your life and have great balance, a growing baby can unbalance you and increase the chances of a fall.
- Rough, contact sports – football, basketball and hockey are the kind of sports where it’s easy to get knocked around or hit in the stomach. Once you’ve passed your first trimester you need to hang your team colours up for the next few months before getting back into them post pregnancy.
Give it Some Extra Thought
There are many other sports out there, some of them are beneficial during pregnancy and some should be avoided. If you’re unsure, have a chat with your instructors, doctors or experienced mom friends. Or, just take some time out and think about the way you use your body during a particular work out. If you can slow things down and remain steady and on your feet, then you’re probably good to go. If it’s a full on, high-octane sport with a high chance of falling or being struck by others, then it’s probably best to avoid it until your baby has arrived and you’re feeling ready to get back into it.
Fitness doesn’t have to be full-on to be beneficial to you and your baby. Remember, you want to keep yourself and your unborn baby safe as well as healthy, so exercise in the right way to achieve both those targets.
About Jane Sandwood
Jane always wanted to be a teacher as a child, and after graduating college went straight into primary education where she worked for a decade before taking time off to start her own family. She now campaigns against child abuse and domestic violence while working as a freelance writer and editor.