Being pregnant shouldn't be an excuse to eat what you want and not be active and take up a pregnancy exercise routine. It is important to continue exercising throughout your pregnancy because exercise can really benefit you and your developing baby.
Pregnancy exercise can help you feel confident about your changing body. It not only helps your physical well-being it will improve your emotional well-being by helping to boost your mood in those times when you feel a bit blue. By
exercising you will release endorphins in your brain, known as the happy hormone making you feel great.
Even a gentle walk can help to lift your mood. Your pregnancy exercise routine doesn't have to be strenuous to benefit your physical and emotional well-being. In fact it is important not to take part in strenuous activities such as running, skiing or climbing while you are pregnant.
If you're unsure about which pregnancy exercise is safe, here are some exercises which are safe to try, although check with your midwife or GP before you decide to try any of these activities.
Pelvic floor exercises
These exercises can help to strengthen your pelvic muscle which comes under a lot of strain through pregnancy and childbirth. Some mums find that their Pelvic Muscle becomes weak after giving birth and can sometimes leak urine but there are ways to avoid this by doing Pelvic Floor Exercises.
If you're not sure what this is, try to stop yourself from passing wind and squeeze the muscle around your back passage. You should be able to feel the muscle around your back passage tighten up. Also a common way to help identify your Pelvic Floor muscle is to imagine that you are sitting on the loo passing urine and then stopping the flow of urine. This sensation is your Pelvic Floor Muscle.
Aim to practice the above on a regular basis say three sets of 8 squeezes per day. At first try to practice these squeezes quickly, tightening and releasing them straight away then gradually hold the squeezes for about 10 seconds each time.
Pelvic tilt exercises
These exercises can help strengthen your stomach muscles which will help to avoid back problems towards the end of your pregnancy.
Stand with your shoulders and bottom against a wall.
Pull your stomach in so that your back is flat against the wall, hold and repeat several times.
Try to hold this position for around 10 seconds and release it.
Take up walking
Gentle walking is a great way to exercise while you are pregnant. Getting some fresh air can really give you a lift when you're feeling a bit low. Try not to go on any lengthy walks or hikes that may increase your heart rate too much or make you breathless or tired as this is not good for your baby. Check with your midwife or GP first of all if you intend to go on anything more than a stroll in the park or plan to walk a couple of miles.
A gentle swim can be great for a regular exercise routine. Check out your local swimming center to see if they offer aquanatal classes that are designed especially for pregnant women.
Try antenatal yoga
It is worth contacting your local civic center or even a local gym nearby to see if they offer antenatal yoga classes.
This type of yoga is specifically designed for pregnant women so you don't need to worry about having to learn to tie yourself in a knot! The type of exercises that you will learn will be perfectly safe for you and your baby.
The benefits of practicing yoga while your pregnant will not only help your physical wellbeing by stretching and toning your muscles but it will also teach you to control your emotions and reduce any stress-related feelings which is particularly important when approaching the big day. Yoga can help you to focus and relax through certain breathing techniques and moves.
Important to consider
If you are new to exercise and planning on starting a new exercise regime, firstly speak to your midwife or GP about what type of exercise you plan to start just to make sure it is safe.