Exercising in pregnancy? Yes / No?

Exercising has become an important part of the life styles of many women. However, many women stop exercising during pregnancy because of concerns regarding the well-being of the fetus. Although pregnancy is associated with several physiologic changes the exercising in the pregnancy has many benefits.

Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy

–         Relive backaches and improve your posture

–         Reduce constipation

–         Boost your energy

–         Help you to sleep better

–         Reduce pregnancy discomfort

–         Improve your self-image

–        Prepare the body for the birth

–         Get your body back faster after childbirth

Tips for healthy exercising during pregnancy:

–         Don’t exhaust yourself. As a general rule, you should be able to hold a conversation as you exercise.

–         If you weren’t active before you got pregnant, don’t suddenly take up strenuous exercise.

–         Always warm up before exercising, and cool down afterwards.

–         Try to keep active on a daily basis: half an hour of walking each day can be enough, but if you can’t manage that, any amount is better than nothing.

–         Avoid any strenuous exercise in hot weather.

–         Drink plenty of water and other fluids.

–         If you go to exercise classes, make sure your teacher is properly qualified, and knows that you’re pregnant and how many weeks pregnant you are.

Exercises to avoid:

–         Don’t lie flat on your back, particularly after 16 weeks, because the weight of your bump presses on the big blood vessels and can make you feel faint.

–         Don’t take part in contact sports where there’s a risk of being hit, such as kickboxing, judo or squash.

–         Don’t take part in horse-riding, downhill skiing, ice hockey, gymnastics and cycling

–         Don’t go scuba-diving

–         Don’t exercise at heights over 2,500m above sea level until you have acclimatised.

Pregnancy is a time to focus on stretching, relaxing and gentle toning, rather then vigorous exercise aimed at building muscles and stamina. If you are already very fit, you may want or be able to keep up your normal exercise routine, just adapting it to take your new condition into account.

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