Pregnancy exercise - is it safe?
Is pregnancy exercise safe? Whilst many women use pregnancy as an excuse to quit their previous exercise regime, for others it is important to them to keep as fit as possible during pregnancy and whilst this is usually fine it is always advisable to check with your doctor about whether or not you should continue to exercise during your pregnancy. If you are a member of a gym you should also inform your instructors as soon as possible so your exercises can be tailored to your condition.
Although moderate exercise is usually safe during pregnancy, it is advisable to refrain from high impact exercises. During pregnancy your ligaments and muscles soften making it more likely you will cause injure yourself and possibly cause lasting damage if you are not careful. So, for example, if you normally enjoy running then you may want to consider taking up brisk walking instead or swap football for swimming!
Swimming in particular is very beneficial during pregnancy as the water supports the extra weight you are carrying and you are not as likely to pull a muscle or injure yourself in other ways whilst swimming. Many sports centres and private pools run antenatal swimming classes especially for mothers-to-be so it can be worthwhile making a few phonecalls or asking around to get recommendations.
Yoga is another popular pregnancy exercise and many pregnant women find it a very enjoyable way and satisfactory way to keep fiit during their pregnancies. Again, antenatal yoga classes are often run by qualified instructors in local libraries, sports centres and privately.
One of the main benefits of taking pregnancy exercise is that exercise in general promotes a feeling of well-being because of the feel-good hormones your body releases as you exercise. This can benefit pregnant women tremendously as it can mean they'll be less likely to suffer from depression during pregnancy.
Another benefit of pregnancy exercise is that it can help prepare you for labour and childbirth. Women who are fitter going in to give birth tend to have shorter, less intense labours and often return to their pre-pregnancy size quickly.
Always remember not to over-exert yourself when exercising during pregnancy. If you notice anything unusual, such as pain or bleeding inform your doctor immediately.
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