Pregnancy Exercise Timetable
Women who have never exercised often wonder if they should start exercising to make sure they remain healthy and fit during pregnancy. With doctors recommending that weight gain be kept under control, it’s a good idea to begin some form of activity, even if you haven’t done consistent exercise before. You may not need to do more than the recommended 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy, but if you are interested in going that bit further, here are some ideas.
Holmes Place fitness expert Liz Andrews says that “exercising when pregnant is safe and has many benefits for both mother and baby, if mom is healthy and there are no pregnancy complications".
“Exercise can help make a woman stronger and help prepare her for labor and delivery, which is hugely beneficial as it can shorten labor time, reduce risk of gestational diabetes, reduce back pain, reduce constipation and speed up recovery after delivery. It is also a great way to improve your posture with the additional weight gain and decrease backache and general fatigue,” advises Liz.
The best solution is to look for activities like brisk walking, swimming, cycling, jogging and low-intensity aerobics. Swimming, despite being a very demanding physical activity, is low impact on the joints and can be adapted to the effort level desired. This means you can enjoy pool exercises all through pregnancy. A pregnant woman should choose exercises that don’t overheat her body or require her to hold her breath.
Liz recommends adapting exercises during pregnancy. From the very beginning, (and throughout the entire pregnancy) inverted positions, like the ones found in Yoga or Antigravity, should be avoided. There are variations and alternatives that allow you to continue attending the class, adapting the exercises to suit you with your instructor’s guidance. In fact, stretching is always beneficial to release tension and calm the mind. “Neck and shoulder rotations, arm and leg stretches, wrist and ankle rotations can all help release unnecessary tension in the body,” concludes Liz.
It is also important to prepare for exercise. Staying hydrated and making sure your daily meals include the necessary extra calories, is the best way to guarantee you have the energy levels you need to keep your exercise healthy.
Exercises pregnant women can do to keep active:
· 1st Trimester
Indoor cycling (at your pace)
Group dance classes
· 2nd Trimester
Swimming/ water aerobics
Indoor cycling (at your own pace)
· 3rd Trimester
Don’t choose activities where you have to stand for long periods