Keep your bump in shape

Your Pregnancy - - Contents -

How to ex­er­cise safely

The days where preg­nancy was your golden ticket to sit on the couch and eat ice cream for nine months are long gone. Reg­u­lar ex­er­cise dur­ing preg­nancy is now highly rec­om­mended by med­i­cal ex­perts world­wide to keep you and your baby healthy, and to keep those un­wanted ex­tra ki­los at bay.

Ex­er­cise is one of the best ways to con­trol weight gain dur­ing preg­nancy, con­firms Fika Nt­shaba, a bioki­neti­cist and preg­nancy train­ing spe­cial­ist for Vir­gin Ac­tive in Gaut­eng. “Keep­ing fit also makes it eas­ier to re­turn faster to your pre-preg­nancy weight, strength and flex­i­bil­ity,” she says.

But it’s not only about how you look – reg­u­lar ex­er­cise can make you feel bet­ter on the in­side too, she adds. This in­cludes im­proved di­ges­tion, re­lief from con­sti­pa­tion and less preg­nancy-re­lated back pain due to main­tain­ing a bet­ter pos­ture. Bonus!

“Ex­er­cise also gives you that ex­tra boost of energy you need to get through daily life, and it gives you a psy­cho­log­i­cal ‘lift’ that can coun­ter­act feel­ings of stress, anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion

You can do al­most any type of ex­er­cise when preg­nant, with a few ex­cep­tions (see ‘Play it Safe’ on p48). The key is to keep it re­laxed and gen­tle.

“This means you must avoid stren­u­ous and vig­or­ous ex­er­cises, as well as high im­pact and weight bear­ing ex­er­cises. And no heavy weight lift­ing,” ad­vises Fika.

Also avoid po­si­tions where you have to lie flat and those that re­quire long pe­ri­ods of stand­ing still, she adds. Other than these guide­lines and a few other things you should bear in mind (see ‘Must Re­mem­ber’ over­leaf), you can start your own ex­er­cise pro­gramme at home, or hit the pool, gym or ex­er­cise bike pronto… but only af­ter you’ve got the all clear from your healthcare provider. “It is def­i­nitely es­sen­tial to get clear­ance be­cause of the risks and con­traindi­ca­tions in­volved,” ad­vises Fika.

Etti agrees and says ex­er­cise is gen­er­ally ei­ther lim­ited or not al­lowed at all dur­ing high risk preg­nan­cies or where there are com­pli­ca­tions, such as se­vere anaemia, an in­com­pe­tent cervix or if

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.