Pregnancy App Article: "Exercise during pregnancy"

Week 20
Exercise during pregnancy
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Some people love it, some people loathe it, but we all know exercise is good for us - and pregnancy is not the time to be sitting on your burgeoning backside with a packet of biscuits (sorry to break it to you).

The fitter you are, the better you will cope with birth and the strains of early motherhood. Plus, exercise during pregnancy makes you feel good and gives you more energy. It can help aid digestion and circulation, which helps relieve some other aches and pains you're likely to feel too (yay).

Don't kid yourself - you're not going to be able to keep up with any Olympic training you were doing pre-pregnancy - and equally, if you weren't particularly active before, now's not the time to start your marathon training (try not to look TOO sad). The key is to practise some gentle exercise, adjust your routine as you go and stay within your limits.

Remember to warm up and cool down properly, and stay hydrated by drinking water throughout.

If you're doing a class, let the instructor know you're pregnant, and if you're struggling with anything in particular, so they can modify exercises where necessary.

Most of all, listen to your body - don't overdo it!
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I have found exercising really good for keeping me sane and the gym is the one place I feel comfortable!
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My goal is being strong for the birth - rather than aiming for a time or distance as I might have done before - it's a great motivator.
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Recommended activities:
  • Swimming - the water supports your weight, taking pressure off your back
  • Yoga - particularly classes designed for pregnant women, which will help with breathing techniques and relaxation
  • Pilates - good for strengthening your abdomen and pelvic floor muscles ready for birth
  • Walking - go with a friend and have a natter to take your mind off the fact you're actually working out
Things to avoid:
  • Rapid twisting and jumping movements
  • Contact sports, or anything where you might get hit (so no judo, boxing, squash or anything like that)
  • Don't do any exercises lying on your back after about 16 weeks - the weight of your baby can put pressure on your blood vessels and make you faint
  • Running is fine in early pregnancy but you may need to modify your regime as you get bigger
  • Try not to do exercise that carries a high risk of falling (such as cycling, horse riding or ice skating)
  • Don't go scuba diving or mountain climbing above 2,500m because of the risk of altitude sickness 
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Get some motivation from other mums-to-be
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