Exercise in Pregnancy
During your pregnancy the aim is to stay fit rather than to reach peak fitness. Activities like brisk walking, swimming and muscle strengthening exercises are safe and beneficial.
If you’re not used to exercising regularly, start with small steps and build up gradually at a rate that feels comfortable to you. By building activity into your daily life, for example taking the stairs instead of the lift and walking where you can, you’ll be forming great habits during your pregnancy that will last a lifetime.
When you discover you’re pregnant, it encourages you to think about your body in a whole new light:
Am I eating as well as I can?
Are my muscles, joints and bones in the best condition to support a growing bump?
Am I fit enough to cope with labour?
Don’t let the fact you haven’t exercised in the past put you off. The benefits really are incredible.
–The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. it will help reducie complications in labour to making you less likely to suffer from the baby blues afterwards. And if you’re active, you’re also less likely to gain excess weight during your pregnancy, and more likely to return to a healthy weight after your baby is born.
Keep up your normal daily physical activity or exercise (sport, running, yoga, dancing, or even walking to the shops and back) for as long as you feel comfortable. Exercise is not dangerous for your baby.
EXERCISE TIPS FOR PREGNANCY
Don’t exhaust yourself. You may need to slow down as your pregnancy progresses or if your maternity team advises you to. If in doubt, consult your maternity team. As a general rule, you should be able to hold a conversation as you exercise when pregnant. If you become breathless as you talk, then you're probably exercising too strenuously.
If you weren't active before you got pregnant, don’t suddenly take up strenuous exercise. If you start an aerobic exercise programme (such as running, swimming, cycling, walking or aerobics classes), tell the instructor that you're pregnant and begin with no more than 15 minutes of continuous exercise, three times a week. Increase this gradually to at least four 30-minute sessions a week.
Remember that exercise doesn't have to be strenuous to be beneficial.
Exercise tips when you're pregnant:
- always warm up before exercising, and cool down afterwards
- try to keep active on a daily basis: half an hour of walking each day can be enough, but if you can't manage that, any amount is better than nothing
- avoid any strenuous exercise in hot weather
- drink plenty of water and other fluids
- if you go to exercise classes, make sure your teacher is properly qualified, and knows that you’re pregnant as well as how many weeks pregnant you are
- you might like to try swimming because the water will support your increased weight. Some local swimming pools provide aquanatal classes with qualified instructors. Find your local sport and fitness services
- exercises that have a risk of falling, such as horse riding, gymnastics and cycling, should only be done with caution. Falls may risk damage to the baby
We run a walking / weight control / social group from Victoria every Tuesday. Contact midwife Gwen Smith for more information or if you would like to come along to one of our walks.
This is a great opportunity to meet other pregnant ladies, these groups are run by a midwife.
There are many good walking and cycle routes around the 'Kingdom of Fife'. Here are a few