Friday, August 19, 2016

Looking After Your Bump: The Best Exercises You Can Do During Pregnancy




Image credit: Pexels


Finding out you’re pregnant is such an exciting and happy time. It’s also a great time to think about amping up your health and fitness. Give your baby the best start in life by staying fit during your pregnancy and maintaining a healthy diet. In this post we’re going to focus on the best exercises you can do during your pregnancy. It's important to stay active to minimize aches and pains and help prevent gestational diabetes. Exercise will also strengthen your muscles in preparation for birth. Being active during pregnancy is perfectly safe as long as you follow the guidelines. Also, let your health provider know what you will be doing, and make sure you are comfortable and protected too. So let's give your baby the best start in life by making sure Mommy is super fit too.


Yoga

Yoga is a fantastic low impact exercise to embrace during pregnancy. If you already practice yoga, you can continue as soon as you find out you are pregnant. If you haven’t done it before, it’s best to start yoga in your second trimester. Pregnancy yoga classes are a superlative way to exercise with barely any impact on your joints. This form of relaxing exercise will help you maintain flexibility, improve posture and give you a better night's sleep. Yoga can help with common side effects of heartburn, insomnia and lower back pain. Not only will yoga relax your mind and body but it will also help you prepare physically and emotionally for birth. A specialized pregnancy class will also help you meet new Mommy friends! It’s also the perfect excuse to treat yourself to some super stylish maternity active wear to relax in throughout your pregnancy.


Swimming

During pregnancy, it's important to keep your heart strong, boost oxygen in your blood and keep circulation flowing. Swimming has this nailed! It’s also one of the safest exercises to take while pregnant. Exercising in water provides that much needed weightless feeling while you’re carrying your baby. It’s also easy on your joints and eases back strain. Swimming will strengthen your muscles in preparation for birth and beyond. If you find you are suffering from swelling, water is a great way of reducing this too. If you enjoy it, and it feels good, it’s worth trying to swim for 20-30 minutes a day if you can. You can swim during each trimester of your pregnancy. And if you are feeling tired, you can use paddle boards or noodles to float.

Pilates
Pilates is a brilliant form of exercise when pregnant, and there are many prenatal classes you can join. Pilates will help you build core muscle strength in preparation for labor. Classes will also help you stay fit and healthy throughout your pregnancy. There is evidence to support that exercising throughout pregnancy leads to a gentler birth and a quicker recovery. Pilates focuses a lot on improving abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. Making these muscles stronger is vital for an easier birth. In the late stages of pregnancy Pilates classes are adapted to work for you. Rather than stretching too much, the focus is on exercises and positions that will be beneficial during birth.


The key thing to remember during pregnancy is to keep up a combination of cardiovascular and low impact workouts. Avoid, squash, tennis or any activity where a ball may hit your bump. Also, avoid any exercise where you may lose your balance. Weight training is beneficial if you use lighter weights and follow an expert pregnancy routine. Most importantly, keep active, fit and flexible, and enjoy this extra special journey.

This is a collaborative post with a contributor.

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