When it comes to fitness the most important thing is to listen to your body and try your best to keep active and keep moving.
How much should I exercise?
If you exercised frequently before pregnancy adapt what you are doing, according to your energy levels. While now may not be the best time to suddenly start training to be a pro athlete it is definitely a great time to maintain your level of fitness. People often forget that birth is a physical event. Of course, be sensible and don’t suddenly start pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, but if your body is used to training in the gym then you can of course continue. If you are unsure please check with a trainer who is qualified in pregnancy fitness. Regular exercise during pregnancy can improve your posture and decrease some common discomforts such as backaches and fatigue. It can also relieve stress and build more stamina for giving birth
Pregnancy Friendly Exercises
Pregnancy yoga or pilates are some of the best exercises you can practice to stretch and strengthen your core with the added benefit of relieving stress.
Other exercises you can enjoy are swimming, brisk walking, cycling in the gym, step machines, and low-impact aerobics (taught by a certified aerobics instructor). These activities carry little risk of injury, benefit your entire body and mind, and can be continued right until birth.
When you're pregnant you may all of sudden start to feel super flexible. But, beware this is caused by the effects of the hormone relaxin . This hormone enables our internal cavity - that is our ribs and hips - to expand all the way out to accommodate our growing baby.
It also helps everything return to its normal size in the months after the baby is born. Sounds fabulous right? But it also reduces the stability of your joints and ligaments. Relaxin can make you feel more flexible than usual so take care not to overstretch - we’re not saying don’t stretch just keep it to your normal range of motion - if in doubt speak with a qualified personal trainer who can guide you correctly.
The Birth Ball
As your pregnancy progresses you may find it comfortable to sit on a birth ball. A little tip for Dream Dads... make sure you inflate it to the correct height so that mama's hips are higher than her knees.
Birth balls have lots of positive benefits in addition to being quite comfortable too. While it feels great to bounce and take pressure off your back, if you sit up straight with both feet firmly on the ground you will also be using your core muscles to help stabilise you.
On a birth ball the position you sit in is wider than on a normal chair so this gently widens your pelvis and tones pelvic floor at the same time. This is the ideal position you want your body to be in during labour. So, sitting and bouncing on the birth ball well before the birth of your baby helps your body get used to this position.
Don't forget....you can also bring it with you to the hospital or birth centre.
Emily Skye's journey through pregnancy fitness and post natal recovery was so honestly covered.
Thank you for reading :)