The benefits of exercise during pregnancy

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Posted by Pauline Ward on 19 Oct 2016

I am seeing an increase of ante-natal clients in my classes and on my courses, so I thought I would write a blog especially for them.

When you find out you are pregnant your life changes, you are now especially aware of the miracle inside and your responsibilities. You want to ensure that you are as healthy as can be and that the baby gets the best start in life. It is therefore important to eat well, keep hydrated and exercise.

It can be difficult to find ante-natal classes on a day and at a time to suit your schedule. Therefore, look at other options and activities that are accessible and accommodating for pregnancy. It is important your teacher is trained and qualified, teaching ante and post-natal women is a specialist field. Qualified instructors may accept ante-natal women on an occasional basis, if the class is suitable, however, for specialist classes additional training and a specific qualification is required.

Book in advance so the teacher has time to prepare the lesson. Your teacher will want to know how many weeks you are and a contact number in case of an emergency.

There are many benefits to exercise during pregnancy, and some more so than others. Before you start exercising, check with your midwife or health care practitioner. It is important you and your baby are not at risk. When you receive the ‘go ahead’ you can introduce or continue with some gentle/moderate exercise throughout your pregnancy.

Avoid high intensity exercise sessions and look for activities appropriate and accommodating to your changing body. This can be walking, swimming, a gentle/moderate aerobics class (Exercise to Music), yoga and Pilates. I was teaching aerobics the night before I gave birth to my second child!

The benefits of exercise during pregnancy are:
Maintaining your fitness so you are able to continue with normal everyday life as your body changes and to prepare you for the birth of your baby.
Improving your posture to help prevent back ache and lower back pain caused by pregnancy.
Help strengthen abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. Active and strong muscles will cope with the changes to your body during pregnancy and aid recovery after the birth of your baby.
Improve your circulation. This may help decrease the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
Keep everything moving! Help prevent constipation, varicose veins, blood clots, leg cramps and swelling of legs and feet.
It may improve your sleep

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