Safe exercise in Pregnancy
Tips for safe pregnancy exercise
Worried about safe exercise during pregnancy? Read our tips for the best pregnancy workouts and advice for enjoying a healthy active pregnancy
FittaMamma tips for safe and effective pregnancy exercise!
There are so many ways of keeping fit during pregnancy but a few basic guidelines apply however you choose to exercise. The answer to ‘Can I exercise when pregnant?' is a resounding ‘yes!' but listen to your body – if your workout feels too intense, slow down or stop but even gentle pregnancy exercise is a great way to help maintain you have a healthy pregnancy.
- Pregnancy isn't the best time to take up a new activity. That doesn't mean you can't start walking or swimming or even a gentle run – we're talking about booking yourself into tennis classes for the first time, agreeing to run a marathon or joining a netball team.
- Don't overdo it. If you haven't trained before build up slowly and only push yourself further once your body is in better shape. Start with maybe 15-20 minutes 5 days a week and build up as you feel fitter.
- Keep your prenatal exercise levels moderate. The aim is to maintain your fitness levels rather than looking for a big improvement so don't feel the need to run up that extra hill or walk those extra few miles.
- Be sure to warm up! Warming up and cooling down are even more important when you're pregnant to help prevent injury. Spend at least 10 minutes before you start your pregnancy workout with a whole body warm up to make sure your blood is delivering oxygen to your muscles. Walk around, move your arms and stretch out, focussing on your arms, calves and the front and back of your thighs.
- Cool down! At the end of your session cool down by walking around, slowing the pace until you are no longer out of breath. Stretch your muscles paying particular attention to the calves, thighs, chest, shoulders and arms. Take that little bit of extra pregnancy care!
- Stay fuelled. Don't exercise on an empty stomach. Pre-pregnancy you might make demands on stored fuel but you should make sure you eat sensibly to fuel your pregnancy fitness session.
- Drink plenty of fluid. Small sips of water are best so keep a bottle of water handy.
- Keep cool. Pregnant women can overheat quite easily so exercise outdoors or in an air conditioned room wherever possible. Moisture-wicking exercise clothes will help wick sweat away from your body and keep you cooler. FittaMamma maternity workout clothes will keep you cool and fresh.
- Carry on talking! You might be aiming for a fit pregnancy but its not a good idea to exercise beyond the level where you're too tired to speak. If you're exercising so hard that you can't continue a conversation then it's time to reduce the intensity of your work out.
- Avoid exercises that involve you lying on your front after the first trimester and avoid lying on your back after 12 weeks (earlier if you feel dizzy or nauseous) – it puts too much pressure on the blood flow to your womb and can cause an increase in your own blood pressure
- Give yourself a day off from cardio-vascular exercise at least once a week – your body will need the break. Just enjoy a day of relaxation – or no more than a few gentle stretches
- The extra pressure on your bladder can make vigorous exercise more of a challenge – make sure you allow for plenty of loo breaks and include pelvic floor exercises as part of your daily routine to help avoid any embarrassing leaks
- Dress comfortably. Avoid clothes that restrict your movement and especially ones that put pressure on your bump. Ideally choose maternity fitness clothes that expand as you grow and support your bump and breasts
- Check out the FittaMamma hints, tips and exercise programmes about how to exercise when pregnant.
- Ask a professional. Make sure everything is progressing well with your pregnancy before you start any regular pregnancy exercise routine and if you have any concerns talk to your doctor or midwife. And talk to your teacher, trainer or coach to make sure they are aware that you're pregnant, adapting your routine as necessary to take account of your changing centre of gravity, looser ligaments and joints
Want more safe pregnancy exercise tips and workout advice? Download our free guide by clicking the link below!