Many women view pregnancy as a time to relax and take it easy – but whilst you might be tempted to simply sit down and put your feet up, experts (including the Royal College of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists!) agree that your should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on at least five days of the week.
‘Pregnancy is a great time for making healthy lifestyle changes that will benefit both you and your baby,’ say leading maternity activewear specialists FittaMamma. ‘If you’re suffering from pregnancy niggles such as backache, tiredness, varicose veins, swollen ankles or heartburn you’ll be surprised what a difference it makes to put on your trainers and start exercising!
Giving birth at the end of your nine-month journey is a very physical process and increasing your fitness levels can make all the difference when it comes to labour, as well as helping you to recover more quickly. Exercise will help you to avoid piling on too many pregnancy pounds and most mums who carry on exercising during their pregnancy regain their pre-baby figure much more quickly.
Around one in three women suffer from pre-natal anxiety and depression – the feel good endorphins released when you exercise will help to boost your mood. And if you’re feeling positive about yourself, you’ll have more energy for your baby too – it’s win win all round!’
Even a modest amount of exercise during pregnancy will release those feel good endorphins, lift your mood and make it easier to sleep, reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Even walking for
half an hour a day will help raise your heart beat.But if you’re anxious about what’s safe to do and what you should be aware of, FittaMamma have prepared these simple guidelines for safe exercise in pregnancy:
Before you start
- Listen to your body – if your workout feels too intense slow down or stop. Don’t overdo it, if you haven’t trained before build up slowly, maybe 15-20 minutes a day to begin with.
- Pregnancy isn’t a good time to start playing tennis or join a netball team – but that doesn’t mean you can’t take up swimming, walking or join a yoga class
- Remember to stay hydrated – keep a water bottle handy
- Stay cool! Pregnant women can overheat quite easily so exercise outdoors if possible and wear moisture-wicking clothes
- Carry on talking! It’s not a good idea to exercise beyond the level where you’re too tired to speak.
- Dress comfortably. Stretchy well-fitting exercise clothes that support your bump and boobs- such as the FittaMamma range - are ideal
- Avoid exercises that involve you lying on your front after the first trimester and avoid lying on your back after 12 weeks
- Stay fuelled – don’t exercise on an empty stomach and keep a few energy snacks handy - a banana, dried fruit or nuts are ideal
- Ask your doctor or midwife before you start any regular exercise routines or if you have any concerns
- Make sure you warm up and cool down