Can I do routine exercise now that I'm pregnant?
The best types of exercise during pregnancy will get your heart get your heart pumping and keep you supple. Exercising will help you to manage pregnancy weight gain and prepare muscles for labour and birth. Good, safe forms of exercise are walking, jogging, swimming, aqua-natal classes and cycling. Yoga and Pilates are also good, find a qualified teacher experienced in dealing with pregnant women.
Any sports or activities where you might fall or be thrown off-balance should be avoided. These include such activities as horse-riding, skiing, gymnastics and water-skiing. Scuba diving or snorkelling are also unsafe during pregnancy. Ball sports such as football, tennis and squash are also risky, since there is a chance that you may be hit in the stomach.
A few basic dos and don'ts before you begin:
• Dress comfortably – it's easier to move and injuries are less likely to happen
• Drink plenty of water – this is especially import now that you are pregnant
• Warm up and cool down – your heart rate is higher in pregnancy, you'll need extra time to cool down
• Stay in tune with your body – joints and ligaments are looser, centre of balance is off and it's harder to get up off the floor
• Play contact sports – being tackled is not an option. Also avoid activities where you could fall such as climbing, skiing, or horse riding
• Exercise on your back – especially in the second and third trimesters. This position reduces blood flow to your brain and uterus
• Overdo it – never allow yourself to become overtired or overheated
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