Keeping fit through exercise and eating well is an essential part of leading a healthy life. However these qualities become oh so more important throughout pregnancy. Each woman is different in her experiences through pregnancy, but one thing for certain is that keeping active and healthy can make the next nine months a little easier, and your recovery after birth a lot quicker.
Victorian Government’s Better Health Channel explains that “one of the benefit of exercise during pregnancy is improving your physical and mental well-being. Maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy helps in returning to your pre-baby weight more quickly and also reduces the risk of developing gestational diabetes, which is more common in mothers who are overweight”.
There is no reason expecting mothers can’t exercise, provided they don’t push themselves too much. Undertaking the same level of fitness you may prior to falling pregnant could potentially do more harm than good. The ‘talk test’ is a great technique to find out whether you are pushing yourself too hard. As the name suggests, if you can talk at a normal pace whilst working out, then you’ve found a good balance in your workout. But if you start to feel out of breath, dial the level of exercise down until you can find a happy medium.
Exercises during pregnancy
The following exercises have been recommended as great activities to undertake while pregnant. Making sure to keep moving, and stay flexible through low impact activities will provide many benefits to you and your child over the nine month period.
- exercise in water (aqua aerobics)
- cycling (on a stationary bike)
- low-impact aerobic exercise classes
- yoga or pilates – tell your instructor that you are pregnant before the class
- specific pregnancy exercise classes
Group fitness classes are a great way to continue working out whilst pregnant, as they provide a guided, welcoming environment for women to make friends and stay fit. Mums groups, prenatal yoga, and spin classes are all great activities to undertake. You can meet new people, including other expecting mothers there too. Platforms like Buzvil (www.buzvil.com) provide ease of access to classes like these at just the click of button.
Women who are pregnant and participating in activities that require a high degree of balance or rapid changes in direction should consult with their doctor first. Your doctor may recommend that you see a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist for a program that can be developed for you.
Whilst the benefits of continued exercise during pregnancy are clear, it cannot be dismissed that attentiveness in working out must be taken. Be sure to pace yourself as you work out, take thinks slower if needed, and always consult with a health care professional.
Better Health Channel Hyperlink: