During the initial months of pregnancy, the idea of maintaining your fitness is probably the last thing on your mind. You’re too busy fighting the waves of nausea and handling the exhaustion to really care about how far your fitness might slip!
However, as the unpleasantness of the first trimester gives way to the smoother water of the second, you might want to turn your mind to fitness once more. For one thing, staying fit during pregnancy can ease the symptoms associated with carrying the extra weight at the front of your body. For another, exercise has a tendency to make everyone feel good thanks to the endorphins it stimulates as explained by CNN.com. A boost of happiness can be just what you need if the other less-fun side effects of pregnancy are beginning to get you down!
However, many women feel uncomfortable with the idea of exercise while pregnant. Much of this is based on fear, especially the idea of doing something that could endanger the health of the baby. While you should always check with your OBGYN or midwife before embarking on a new course of exercise, the three options listed below could be just what you need to see you through to giving birth…
Swimming / Water Aerobics
Swimming has the huge benefit of being low impact, meaning it places relatively little stress on your body to do. When you are aching and struggling to accommodate the growing weight of your baby, being able to float in the water and ease your muscles will feel heavenly!
Swimming is very relaxing, and you can take it at your own pace without having to worry about keeping up with anyone. So it’s great if you prefer something sedate. With that said, if you like something a bit more high tempo than a casual paddle in the deep end, then water aerobics could be a good option. You can usually find classes that specialize in routines for pregnant women, so it’s worth scanning around for options. You don’t need to spend a fortune either; swimsuits stretch so a couple should see you through the entire pregnancy, and then you just need to protect your hair with the likes of swim caps from SwimCapz.com, nose plugs to protect your delicate nostrils, and perhaps even ear plugs if you’ve been prone to infections during the pregnancy thus far.
You will usually be able to find specific yoga routines that are designed for women who are pregnant; here’s an example at YouTube.com. While it may be uncomfortable at first, easing gently into routines with an experienced instructor could really help with the aches and pains of pregnancy.
Some women practice yoga right up to the point of going into labour, with some taking their new hobby into the delivery room too! Given that yoga can help manage pain and lower stress, it’s definitely not a bad habit to have picked up. It’s relatively cheap to do, too – stretchy maternity clothes and you’re good to go.