Now that the unavoidable boom of the 'Yummy Mummy' is upon us, many of my pregnant and new Mums coming into our London Bridge osteopathic clinic are guilty of comparing their figures to their pre-pregnant bodies, as well as their NCT friends' figures...and even their baby-free pals...
...And so on a mission to 'avoid getting too out of shape', many of my pregnant patients ask for advice about exercise during pregnancy. As the guidelines are extensive, I've picked out the important parts for you...
1. You can exercise! It is safe to do so during and after your pregnancy, unless you have a pre-existing condition.
2. In your 1st trimester, if you are already active - continue with your exercise routine. For those who want to begin a routine the guidelines recommend you to not exceed 60 minutes of high intensity activity for more than 5 days a week.
3. In your 2nd and 3rd Trimester, you put on an average of 12kg and so your body's demands will further increase during exercise. Try to reduce the amount of exercise you are doing.
Also remember to increase your daily intake of WATER. Some women will require a slight increase in nutritional support, so increase your amount of carbohydrates, e.g. vegetables or grains.
TYPE OF EXERCISE YOU CAN DO:
- For Endurance: Walking, Hiking, Jogging/Running, Aerobic classes, Swimming, Cycling, Rowing, Dancing, Skipping... (as if that is not enough!)
- For Strength: Weightlifting and Resistance both at low weight and lower repetitions.
- For Flexibility: Pilates, Yoga and Stretching (NB. Avoid postures lying on your back during your 3rd Trimester as they may make you feel faint or dizzy.)
Intensity & Duration
- As your pregnancy progresses you should reduce the intensity of exercise.
- For many pregnant women thermo-regulation can be an issue. You are best exercising in an area where you can regulate your body's temperature (e.g. Avoiding Hot/Bikram yoga!)
- If your energy levels are low - missing a day at the gym is fine. It is probably your body's way of telling you that you are doing too much or need to preserve energy.
Lower your expectations - You should anticipate your overall fitness to reduce slightly as pregnancy progresses. Remember it is not gone forever...you will get your fitness back after your baby has arrived!
So I hope that clears things up for you – Good luck and remember if you are unsure of which types of exercises suit you, or whether you have any concerns – feel free to call or pop in for a consultation :) Lara