FITNESS AND THE BABY BUMP: SOME SPORTS ARE DOUBLY GOOD FOR YOU DURING PREGANCY
Pregnant and sporty - a contradiction? Not at all. Here you can find out which sports activities are good for you and your baby.
Being pregnant can be a great excuse to not participate in sports. During the first three months, you may not feel so well. Later your bump grows and you gain more and more weight. Even though the temptation is strong and you might like to hang up your sneakers, participating in sports in pregnancy is an excellent idea. Regular, moderate activity helps the mother-to-be to stay fit, prevents back pain and water retention in the body, helps prevent excessive weight gain, strengthens muscles and tissues and stimulates circulation. In short, it helps to have a pregnancy without complications and better prepares you for childbirth. And the baby also benefits from increased oxygen intake, which has positive effects on development. These are good reasons to abandon, at least occasionally, the sofa and TV, wouldn't you say?
Prenatal exercise: be careful not to overdo it
Many gyms and sports centres have special courses for pregnant women. Even though the exercises are designed for participants who are expecting, you should still be careful not to overdo it. Your body is producing a hormone called relaxin, which loosens the joints to prepare for childbirth. This makes your ligaments more flexible than usual and it is likely that you will notice the extra flexibility. To prevent accidents, always be very careful when you perform stretching exercises.
Fitness during pregnancy: in moderation, not excess
Walking, jogging, swimming or biking are ideal resistance sports because they don’t stress the body too much while keeping you fit. Many of these activities lend themselves to being done with your partner. Adjust your training to your individual fitness level as well as, naturally, the period of pregnancy you're in. Be aware of signals from your body: it will tell you what is good for you or when you're doing too much.
Sports such as skiing, riding, climbing and inline skates should instead be avoided until after the baby is born. Falls may harm the unborn child and since you are pregnant you may not be able to have complete medical care.
Yoga and Pilates for pregnant women: ideal against back pain
You've never practised yoga or Pilates? Why not start during pregnancy? There are special courses for expectant mothers that you can certainly enjoy. This allows you to stretch and strengthen some muscles. The back exercises are good for pregnant women who are bothered by back pain. In addition, you will learn to become more aware of your body and to use breathing in a conscious way, which certainly won’t hurt to know during childbirth. Relaxation exercises then contribute to a better quality of sleep. Enjoy your sleep while you can before you have your baby!
Water exercise for pregnant women: almost weightless
Since water supports most of the body's weight, swimming is perhaps the most suitable during pregnancy. If you feel fit, you can safely swim laps until shortly before the birth. Many pools include aquatic exercise classes for expectant mothers: these exercises for pregnancy are great because they don’t stress the joints but are still are a good workout. They also help prevent varicose veins and water retention in the tissues.
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