There are sooo many benefits to exercising during pregnancy. Women who stay fit when pregnant experience fewer niggles and discomforts – that nagging pregnancy backache can be eased by stretching and toning your muscles; your circulation will improve, making you less prone to varicose veins; you’re less likely to pile on unwanted pregnancy pounds and women who exercise when pregnant experience shorter labours and speedier recovery times. Oh and that’s not to mention the feel good endorphins lifting your mood and make it easier to sleep.
And if that’s not enough of an incentive for a fit pregnancy, research has shown that babies born to mums who exercise are leaner (that’s a polite way of saying not so chubby) and smarter, responding more quickly when it comes to learning.
Experts agree that all healthy pregnant women should aim for at least 30 minutes exercise a day, ideally for at least five days a week. It’s not a lot – but sometimes it’s hard to get going!
We’ve come up with our top ten tips for a fit pregnancy without trying too hard…
- Walk more. It’s free, easy and doesn’t require any training or special equipment. Thirty minutes brisk walking will raise your heartbeat and, if the sun’s shining you can enjoy an extra dose of Vitamin D too. Leave the car behind, get off the bus a few stops too soon or fit in a stroll at lunchtime instead of lingering over a cup of tea and a magazine.
- See the stairs as part of your exercise routine. There are workout machines in the gym that emulate climbing up stairs. You could just climb up the stairs. Change your leading leg, change your pace and if there’s an option to take a lift – walk up the stairs instead.
- Don’t abandon your bike just because you’re pregnant. Cycling is a great low impact exercise for pregnant women as well as a cheap and readily available form of transport.
- Dance more. Turn up the music and dance at home. Studies have shown that babies in the womb respond to music – try it with your baby! Check out this video from lovely fitness instructor Lottie.
- Buy a fit ball. A fitball is a great way to exercise your abs and your core, even if all you do is sit on it whilst you’re watching TV or using your computer. And if you want some more exercises we have some lovely easy to follow fit ball exercises for pregnant women. You can use it as a birthing ball during labour too!
- Take the kids to the park. More tricky if this is your first baby but maybe you can borrow some small people! Keeping kids active whilst you stay active yourself is win win all round – you’re maintaining your fit pregnancy and they’re getting the exercise habit early!
- If you’re still working and sat at a desk all day, take time to stretch and move. There are a number of pregnancy yoga poses that will ease tension in your shoulders and open up your chest and whilst they might not take half an hour they’ll make you feel better.
- Swimming. If you’re not used to exercising the swimming pool is a good place to start as it’s low impact and the water supports your bump. If you’re feeling heavy on land you’ll be surprised how easy it is to move in the water – and how good you’ll feel afterwards.
- Don’t forget your pelvic floor – you can exercise your core muscles and pelvic floor any time, any place – trust us, you’ll be glad you did! Squeeze and lift Mammas!
- Need more guidance to get you started? Our trimester specific pregnancy workouts will give you a 30 minute exercise routine that you can follow at home. Prenatal fitness instructor Natasha will take you through a full sequence specially designed for pregnancy exercise.
And finally! Supporting your bump and looking good in maternity fitnesswear is a great incentive for your fit pregnancy – if you look good, you’ll feel good too. Take a look at our maternity fintesswear range, designed to support your bump, back and boobs so you can exercise with style and confidence throughout your pregnancy and after your baby is born.