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What exercise to do when you’re pregnant?
We know exercise is good for us, but what about during pregnancy? Many women worry that when they get pregnant exercise is no longer safe, but this is simply not true. Regular physical activity keeps us healthy, strong and helps prepare the body for childbirth.
The focus should be on light to moderate exercise. Many women can continue to exercise the way they usually do but decrease the level of intensity as the pregnancy progresses. If you have never exercised before, walking and swimming might be exactly what you need! Pregnancy Yoga along with regular, brisk walks are a great combination. If you have any pregnancy complications, always check with your midwife or doctor before starting any exercise regime. Make sure you are comfortable (wearing suitable clothing) and drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
Pelvic floor exercises are really important during pregnancy. The muscles in the pelvic floor support your bladder and uterus and can often become weak due to the strain of pregnancy. Strengthening these muscles can help prevent bladder weakness (and bladder leakage that can occur when you laugh, cough, sneeze or jump). Strong pelvic floor muscles also heal quicker after childbirth.
To strengthen your pelvic floor muscles:
- Sit comfortably, lean forward slightly with a straight back, and close your eyes.
- Squeeze and lift the pelvic floor muscles, as if you are trying to stop a wee.
- Hold the squeeze as you count to 10, then relax.
- Hold the squeeze again and then try release just a little bit, as if there are 5 levels and you are descending 1 level at a time.
- Repeat this 5 times.
- Do this at least once daily.
The information provided in this article is intended for educational purposes only and is general advice. It should not, nor is it intended to be, relied on as a substitute for individual medical advice or care. If the contents of this, or any other of the blogs in this series raises any concerns or questions regarding your health, please consult a qualified healthcare practitioner.