Pregnancy can be a mysterious experience, especially for new mothers. While a woman’s body undergoes changes, both expected and sometimes unexpected, her overall health doesn’t need to be forfeited. What’s more, regular and continued exercise during pregnancy is known to maintain stamina during labour and delivery as well as improve sleep and general wellbeing. This is why conditioning your body while you have the chance is critical. Regular exercise during pregnancy is also known to help your baby situate itself in a suitable position prior to labour.
Too often, women use their pregnancy as an excuse to eat excessively and gain large amounts of weight. Does this sound like you? Read on. Here are a few top tips from Mayo Clinic on how to maintain a healthy figure and fit mind while pregnant.
Read: Working while pregnant
Seek your doctor’s approval
Before beginning any exercise routine, the best practice is to discuss a new plan with your doctor. Women with high blood pressure and other health abnormalities may be advised not to engage in strenuous activity. If you exercised prior to your pregnancy, it’s usually okay to maintain your usual workout as long as you feel healthy enough to do it.
Don’t rush in
As is recommended for non-pregnant women, 30 minutes of daily exercise can greatly boost your health, uplifting your mood and overall physical fitness. But if you aren’t currently exercising, doctors at Mayo Clinic suggest gradually working out for up to half an hour. Starting with as little as five minutes of movement a day can be the start of your new workout routine. Even simple changes to your typical routine could make a huge impact. Taking the stairs more frequently, walking more around the house, even dancing could benefit your overall condition and improve the health of the fetus.
Stick to it
You don’t need a gym membership to move your body, just a little motivation. You can use your pregnancy as impetus to get moving. Try starting small by taking a walk around your neighbourhood or doing yoga or pilates at home to open and strengthen your hips. Even dancing counts towards your daily 30. It’s a known fact that habits form after 30 days, so you just need to keep your focus for one month to get into the initial groove. Besides, now is the best time to condition your body for a smooth delivery.
Read: Addressing the baby boom: Women’s reproductive health an urgent issue
Pay attention to your body
Any unusual or out-of-the-ordinary outcome from exercising, such as dizziness, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, decreased fetal movement, discharge or bleeding, signals red. In this case, seek advice and check with your doctor. You could be putting your baby’s health at risk too. Listen to what your body is telling you and don’t push yourself too hard, especially if you didn’t work out prior to your pregnancy.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2015.
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