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I am pregnant, should I still exercise?

Posted Sep 07 2008 8:03pm

Lots of us find out we are pregnant and think that it’s the green light to go ahead and eat what we like and give up all forms of exercise as we’ll be putting on weight anyway.

You may think what better excuse than to put your feet up and watch television with a nice big slab of chocolate and no guilt!Although this sounds great but actually staying fit throughout pregnancy will help you cope with the physical demands oflabourand of course becoming a mum!

Need some motivation to get off the sofa? During pregnancy you will put on an average of two stones in weight, however

· Exercise will help your body to cope with this weight gain by maintaining or building your muscle tone.

· Exercise will also help you cope with constipation which most pregnant women suffer with at some stage of their pregnancy.

· Women who are physically fit are also known to have shorter labours without as much medical intervention.

· Exercise will also help with fatigue, stress and insomnia.

What exercise is best? Classes specially designed for pregnancy are always a good choice and a great way to meet other mums-to-be.

· Pre-natal yoga classes, breathing techniques will help you duringlabour.

· Swimming, some leisurecentreshave swimming classes such as mums and tums!

· Walking, a brisk mile walk will get your heart pumping without putting too much strain on your body.

What to avoid?

· If you are not already fit then it’s not a good idea to take up running, or any really strenuous activity that will put strain on joints and ligaments due to your body producing the hormone Relaxin. (This is a hormone that loosens your joints ready for childbirth but can make injury more likely)

· Avoid any contact sports, such as hockey or netball.

· Horse riding, jumping on a trampoline and gymnastics are also best avoided!

· Don’t do any exercises which involve you lying flat on your back as this can restrict the flow of blood to the uterus.

· Avoid getting over heated and drink lots of water to stop dehydration.

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