Today we have a special guest post from FittaMamma. I hope that you get great information from them about exercising during pregnancy!
Pregnancy is the perfect time to embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle – exercise isn’t just good for you, it’s good for your baby too!
“Pregnancy is an excellent time for making healthier lifestyle changes that will benefit both you and your baby,” says leading maternity fitness experts FittaMamma.
“If you’re suffering from pregnancy problems such as tiredness, varicose veins, lower back pain, heartburn, or swollen ankles you’ll be surprised what a difference it makes to get up off the couch and start moving!”
Around one in three women suffer from prenatal anxiety and depression – but even a modest amount of exercise during pregnancy will release those feel-good endorphins, lift your mood, and make it easier to sleep.
Giving birth is a very physical process and increasing your fitness levels can make all the difference when it comes to labor, as well as helping to speed up your recovery period postpartum.
Regular exercise helps you to avoid piling on too many unnecessary pregnancy pounds and most moms who carry on exercising while pregnant regain their pre-baby figure much more quickly.
Including regular exercise in your daily routine will benefit your baby too -research has shown that babies born to women who exercise are leaner at birth (that’s less chubby!), develop more quickly, and are more likely to exercise themselves later in life. Active moms are more likely to raise active children – and who doesn’t want to be a positive role model for their family?
While friends and family often offer conflicting advice about what you can and should do to stay active during your pregnancy, experts (including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists!) agree that all healthy pregnant women should try and include at least 30 minutes of exercise on at least five days of the week.
And if you’re feeling positive about yourself, you’ll have more energy for your family and your new baby – it’s win-win all round!’
Running, cycling, swimming, or a brisk walk for half an hour a day will all help raise your heartbeat; pregnancy yoga and Pilates are helpful to improve your balance, posture, strength, and flexibility. If you’re used to working out at home or in the gym, there’s no reason to give up, just adapt your workout as your pregnancy develops.
FittaMamma has prepared these simple guidelines for safe exercise in pregnancy:
- Listen to your body – if your workout feels too intense slowdown or stop. Don’t overdo it, if you haven’t trained before, build up slowly, maybe 15-20 minutes a day to begin with.
- Wear the right gym wear! The FittaMamma range of maternity fitness wear is designed to support your baby bump, boobs, and back, for optimum comfort and style
- Pregnancy exercise is about maintenance, not improvement, so don’t set yourself up for competitive targets
- Keep talking! If you’re exercising so hard you can’t continue a conversation – it’s time to ease up!
- Stay cool! Pregnant women can overheat quite easily so exercise outdoors if possible and wear moisture-wicking clothing
- Remember to stay hydrated – keep your water bottle handy
- Keep fueling up – don’t exercise on an empty stomach and keep a few energy snacks handy – a banana, dried fruit, or nuts are ideal
- Warming up before you exercise and cooling down afterward is even more important when you’re pregnant
- Ask your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns about your health or your pregnancy
When to stop and contact your health professional:
- If you have excessive shortness of breath, chest pains, palpitations, dizziness, or are feeling faint
- Listen to your body and don’t exercise if you’re experiencing excessive tiredness
- Stop exercising if you notice bleeding or leakage of amniotic fluid
- If you have unusual muscle pain or weakness or swelling in your calf (this could indicate a blood clot)
Be more cautious!
- Avoid exercises that involve you lying on your front after the first trimester and avoid lying on your back after 12 weeks.
- If you’re having contractions, gentle yoga or walking can be beneficial
- Team games can put you at more risk of being knocked off balance
- Remember – not so far and not so fast when running, walking, or cycling.
- If you are used to working out in the gym, it is better to lift lighter weights and aim for more repetitions.
- For obvious reasons, we don’t recommend dangerous sports where there is an increased risk of falling or accidents
For more information about health and well-being in pregnancy, exercises for each trimester, videos, workouts, nutritional guidance and recipes and to shop the FittaMamma range of supportive maternity wear, visit www.fittamamma.com