How to exercise during pregnancy

Posted on 2013-02-26 23:30:05

As much as exercise is beneficial and should continue even during pregnancy, it should remain the same in type or intensity during pregnancy. Exercise should be moderated and carefully selected to ensure that it does not pose undue risk to the mother or the child. Some of the guidelines that should be adhered on exercise during pregnancy include:
  • Inform your doctor or health care provider before embarking on any exercise regimen. This will ensure that you receive advise on any precautions that may be specific to your pregnancy and your general state of health.
  • Include stretching and relaxation exercises at the beginning and end of every exercise session. This reduces the likelihood of muscular strain or injury.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that keeps you cool as you exercise. Avoid tight restrictive clothing which is uncomfortable for you and most likely for baby too.
  • Wear a comfortable and supportive bra which protects your breasts as you exercise.
  • Wear flat, comfortable, appropriate footwear for exercise, which supports both the arches of your feet and your ankles.
  • Stick to low impact aerobic exercises, which are much safer in pregnancy. Avoid high impact exercise which involve a lot of hopping or jumping.
  • Avoid exercising in hot humid weather as this carries the risk of dehydration. For those who live in areas such as the coastal region, it is advisable to exercise in the early morning or early evening, or better still, enjoy a cool, refreshing swim instead!
  • Irrespective of the weather, drink adequate amounts of water to maintain hydration.
  • Avoid exercises that require a lot of balance as the center of balance shifts during pregnancy.
  • Avoid exercises that require holding of your breath for long periods of time.
  • Avoid exercising very close to bedtime. Try to finish exercise at least 3 hours before bedtime to ensure that excess energy is spent before bedtime.
  • Do not forget to eat a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Be as consistent as possible with scheduling of exercise. Avoid sudden spurts of exercise followed by long periods without exercise.
  • Always remember moderation is crucial when exercising in pregnancy.
  Exercise should continue even after pregnancy. Brisk walks are often useful in easing one back into exercise after deliver, and preparing the body for more strenuous exercise later. Exercise after delivery also helps control weight after pregnancy and provides the much-needed change of scenery and relaxation time during maternity leave! Therefore, for all the expectant mothers, embrace exercise and reap the benefits before, during and after pregnancy.   Do you have a pregnancy question?Please ask our gynaecologist.