Whilst it is important to remain as fit as possible when pregnant, there is nothing more essential than ensuring the overall well being of both mum and her unborn child. Often, these two things do not conflict and mums-to-be can, for the most part, carry on training as they otherwise would. Having said that, undertaking exercise is never risk-free and one of the last things you want when pregnant is to risk injuring yourself or the child you’re carrying.
Fortunately, the dangers associated with exercising while pregnant can be easily avoided by slightly adapting they way you train. Whilst some suggestions may seem minor or inconsequential, the following recommendations will help to ensure the safety of both prospective mothers and the babies they are carrying.
Don’t Push Yourself
A woman’s body can react in unexpected ways at the best of times when she is pregnant, making exercise to the point of exertion incredibly ill-advised. It is not unusual to feel dehydrated, weakened and possibly dizzy after undertaking strenuous exercise, but none of these feelings are ideal for someone carrying a child as they have no idea quite how their body is going to react.
To be on the safe side and to avoid the possibility of an accident, the NHS suggests avoiding exertion all together by keeping exercise light enough to comfortably hold a conversation. If you catch yourself becoming out of breath, it is a sign that you are pushing yourself too hard and should ease up.
Ease In & Ease Out
A pregnant woman’s body is already having to work hard in order to adapt to the additional strain that a foetus places upon it, so it’s best not to make its job any more difficult. Warming up before exercise and cooling down afterwards is always essential, but it becomes all the more so during pregnancy as it helps to prepare the body for increased activity.
Stretching is a great way of preparing your body, as is brisk walking, and both can be increased in terms of intensity to a point where they are beneficial but not overly exhausting. If you find yourself enjoying stretches, you may want to consider take a pregnancy Yoga and Pilates class, as it will give you the opportunity to mix with other future-mums whilst also receiving professional guidance.
Avoid Lying On Your Back
Though not a worry for the first handful of weeks, it is best to avoid lying on your back as the 15th week of pregnancy approaches. This is because the weight of a baby pushing down against you can adversely affect the flow of blood around the body, resulting in low blood pressure and lightheadedness.
Work Out In Water
If you have access to a swimming pool, you might want to consider exercising in it as your bump starts to grow. As a full body activity, swimming is fantastic exercise and can be carried out at whatever pace an individual finds comfortable. Moreover, being mostly submerged in water will take some of the weight of your baby off your back, providing what we’re sure will be a welcome relief.
If you are a member of a gym that has a pool, you may want to check to see if they offer prenatal aqua-aerobic classes so that you may enjoy the social and physical benefits of the activity.
Remain Firmly On Your Feet
You may not have thought about it quite like this before, but a lot of activities and exercises involve falling. Whether it is following a jump, a pull-up, or the unintended consequence of an accident, the impact-shock caused by repeatedly falling or falling from a height can be potentially dangerous for both pregnant women and the babies they are carrying.
For this reason, many women will put activities such as skiing, horse riding, and even skipping aside until they have carried their child to term. It is also not uncommon for road-cyclists to move onto a static exercise bike in order to ensure they can carryout their activity of choice without the risk of falling off or being hit.
For more advice on how to stay fit and healthy whilst pregnant, be sure to check the Unity Beauty Essentials blog regularly. If there is anything you’d like us to post a blog about and think others would find helpful, feel free to contact us or email firstname.lastname@example.org.