Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Exercise during pregnancy?

I listened with interest at today's news story following new guidelines released by the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence). The new report gives health care professionals consistent information about how they should advise women on their weight, before, during, and after pregnancy.

I make plenty of jokes about eating for two as I'm tucking in to a cream cake but I am under no illusions that eating for two does not mean I can double my intake of food. In fact being pregnant has made me eat healthier than before not worse.

My problem last time was gaining weight after I had my son - being at home all day with a house full of food was all too much and I gained about a stone and a half before I went back to work.

This time around I plan to do things a lot differently - learning from my mistakes, if you will.

I haven't really found much time to exercise this time but the little bit that I have done has worked wonders and has probably boosted my energy levels. So let's see what the NHS says about it..

"Try to keep active every day. Keep up your normal daily physical activity or exercise (sport, dancing or just walking to the shops and back) for as long as you feel comfortable. Fitting in half an hour of activities, such as walking, can help to keep you active. If you can't manage that, any amount is better than nothing.

Don't exhaust yourself. You may need to slow down as your pregnancy progresses, or if your doctor advises you to. If you go to an exercise class, make sure that the teacher is properly qualified and that they know you're pregnant and how far your pregnancy has progressed. 

So what can we do to keep in shape?

Walking is a great option for those of us that aren't used to lots of exercise.  A brisk mile-long walk three times a week can help keep you fit, and the fresh air might help to combat morning sickness. But do make sure that you:
  • Wear supportive shoes.
  • Stay on level ground.
  • Don't walk during the hottest part of the day.
  • Carry water with you and drink it regularly.

Yoga is great for working your muscles without too much impact on your joints. Most of the breathing techniques used in yoga are a good preparation for childbirth, helping you to remain calm and breathe steadily through contractions.

Yoga also improves posture, which helps with back pain and can increase flexibility. This will make birthing positions, such as squatting, easier.

Swimming has several benefits, including improved circulation, better muscle tone and increased endurance. Ideally, aim for 30 minutes, three to four times a week. It is important to find a stroke that's comfortable for you, and to avoid busy periods at the pool. Many pools run a range of antenatal swimming classes. 

As you move into your final three months, the feeling of weightlessness in the water will be very comfortable, and you can continue swimming throughout your pregnancy.

Other exercises have an increased risk of injury due to the loosening of ligaments and joints in pregnancy. Swimming doesn't, because your body is supported by the water."
But what should we wear?

I have a great set from Queen Mum that I wear when I'm walking - a lovely cowl neck and matching over bump leggings. The material is unbelievably soft and I enjoy putting it on because I know I'll be comfy.

Whether you're walking or doing yoga, comfort is the key. I've selected these great pieces from a selection at Pretty Pregnant...

I know I'm always self conscious when I go swimming but I actually feel better about my body now with my ever growing bump. There are some great maternity brands out there that will keep you looking your best whether you're on holiday or at your local pool...

Noppies, Mama Beach and Amoralia have a great selection of tankinis and swimsuits.

So what are you waiting for with clothes this good we can all stay fit and fashionable through pregnancy!

All of these items are available at Pretty Pregnant in store or online. Follow Pretty Pregnant on Facebook this month (July) and you could win 1 of 3 Bebe au Lait nursing covers or 1 of 3 essential Lilypadz starter kits!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous29 July, 2010

    I really like the pink tankini - i'm going to Spain soon and will be just starting to show so thanks for this - i'll go and have a look