Long gone are the days that women are expected to not lift a finger from the minute they find out they are pregnant. Exercising through pregnancy can be a daunting prospect and often women don’t know what they should and shouldn’t do. Over the next few weeks, I will help clear this up in my blogs and hopefully give women confidence in exercising through their pregnancy.
Firstly, everyone is different and it is really important to listen to your body and gage how you feel at all times. Benefits to the mother to be can be both physical and psychological; many common complaints will be fatigue, joint swelling and varicose veins, that can all be significantly reduced through exercise (Wallace et al, 1986).
1)Exercise will help maintain fitness levels and improve circulation
2) It will help you maintain muscle length, flexibility and a healthy weight
3) Reduces swelling, leg cramps, muscular discomfort and lower back pain
4) It will reduce maternal weight gain, giving self esteem and confidence of self image
5) It can help the body prepare for labour and assists in post natal recovery.
Some Key Exercise Guidelines
• Aim to maintain a good fitness level and don’t go chasing peak fitness or demanding goals
• Both cardio and strength work can be a part of your routine to encourage a healthy lifestyle through pregnancy
• Stick to exercises that you have a stable base doing to minimize the risk of loss of balance
Although it seems daunting ladies, exercise through pregnancy clearly has great benefits to you and your baby. (Clapp, 2002) states that there have been no identifiable maternal ill effects of exercise during pregnancy and suggests that, with careful exercise programmes, all the above benefits will be achieved and maintained up to the time of delivery.
If you feel nervous about any sort of exercise or have any questions, please contact me for guidance and support. Remember to take it according to how you feel and don’t go aiming for any championships quite yet. Steadily maintaining your fitness level is the key.