Gone are the days when pregnancy was viewed as a good excuse to eat for two or stop exercising. Now the latest guidelines from the NHS and WHO encourage regular physical activity and a good balanced diet throughout the trimesters.
The first 12-16 weeks of pregnancy can leave many women feeling drained, sick, dizzy and generally rubbish. During this period stick to walking, gentle activities such as Yoga or Pilates, light strength training and swimming. If you feel more energetic and your midwife is happy, there is no reason why you can’t keep running, cycling or doing another type of exercise or sport that you are currently doing. There are a few exceptions such as impact sports and scuba diving which are generally best avoided throughout pregnancy.
As you go through pregnancy a balance of cardiovascular exercise and resistance work is fine, with modification on the way. The key is listen to your body – if it feels uncomfortable or strange, reduce the weight/speed/range or stop.
There are plenty of benefits to keeping active during pregnancy such as reduce risk of gestational diabetes, manages weight gain, can help relieve muscle tensions and stiffness, can help aid back pain, helps reduce risk of raised blood pressure, aids with sleep and help improve mood. Add pelvic floor work and this can help regain its function after the baby too.
So if it feels ok, your midwife is happy, then keep going. If you’ve not been active before you were pregnant, start slow and gentle and build up slowly.
Pregnancy fitness and Pilates classes every Wednesday 6pm.