Exercise is encouraged and recommended during pregnancy.
How can exercise be helpful in pregnancy?
#1 - Exercise helps women to adjust to the physical changes that occur in pregnancy.
#2 - Exercise improves muscle tone, strength and endurance. This helps a mother cope with the weight gained in pregnancy. It also prepares the mother for the physical demands and challenges of labour.
#3 - Exercise helps to raise energy levels, relieve tiredness and lower back pain.
#4 - Exercise may reduce varicose veins and relieve swelling of the feet and ankles.
#5 - Women who develop diabetes in pregnancy benefit from improvement in blood sugar control when they exercise.
What should I look out for when planning to exercise during pregnancy?
If you have never been active before, start gradually and do not over-exert.
If you have already been exercising before getting pregnant, you can do most of the exercises you like but do not over-exert.
Be sensible when you exercise during pregnancy: keep well-hydrated, do proper warm-ups and cool-downs, do not over-exert and recognise your limits
Do not bump the bump - avoid contact sports that may increase the risk of being hit in the tummy. Take special care with activities where you might lose your balance or fall.
Avoid lying completely flat on your back especially if you are at least four months pregnant.
Aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week. Remember that every activity and every minute of activity counts!
Recommended exercises in pregnancy include low-impact aerobic activities such as swimming, brisk walking, aqua aerobics and dancing. Strength conditioning exercises such as yoga or pilates may also be performed but avoid lying completely flat — inform your instructor that you are pregnant so that necessary modifications can be made.