Exercising for Two
You may prefer ‘eating for two’ but you will be far better off with a healthy diet and exercising for two instead! It’s true that exercising burns calories so you must eat well to help nourish and strengthen your body during your pregnancy – so you must take in extra calories accordingly.
Weight gain in pregnancy is inevitable. As your baby grows so will your waistline. But healthy eating and exercising during your pregnancy has great benefits. It will control your weight gain at a healthy level ensuring that you don’ put on too much weight. It also helps prepare you for labor and childbirth, relieve certain common complaints that pregnancy brings. But you need to approach working out with extra caution.
In some cases it’s not okay to exercise during pregnancy, so talk to your doctor or midwife about your fitness routine to make sure your activities don’t put you or your baby at risk. If you didn’t work out much before conceiving, you should talk to your health care provider first.
Safe exercise during pregnancy can help prevent problems such as pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes. Exercise can improve your general mood and self-image, and you may find that a workout during the day helps you to sleep better at night (although you will still need a wee several times a night!)
No Sky Diving!
Whatever exercise you choose – stay clear of dangerous sports! As a general rule, you must always warm up, drink plenty of water, don’t get overheated and most importantly don’t over do it!
Horse riding, squash and skiing for example are considered unsafe sports during pregnancy through the risk of falling or being hit in the stomach. Definitely no Sky Diving!
Walking, jogging, swimming and aquanatal classes, are all considered good, safe forms of exercise, as long as you don’t overdo them. Yoga and Pilates are also ideal with registered, qualified teachers experienced in dealing with pregnant women. This is also a great opportunity to meet other expectant mums!
If you have never exercised before, now is not the time to start experimenting. Stick to low-impact activities such as walking the dog or swimming with the rest of the family. Keep workout sessions short but fun, that way you will be more likely to keep it up during your pregnancy and even after the birth of your baby. Exercising for about 30 minutes 3 times a week is ideal.
Don’t forget your Pelvic Floor exercises!
Pelvic floor exercises, if done properly and often, can help to protect you from leaking urine while you’re pregnant and after your baby is born. Strong pelvic floor muscles help support the extra weight of pregnancy, can shorten the 2nd stage of labor and aid the healing of your perineum after birth. Another benefit is in the bedroom department – women with stronger pelvic floor muscles may be more likely to have orgasms during sex! Suddenly exercise doesn’t seem so difficult after all!