Tips for exercising during pregnancy
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YOU may relish the idea of pregnancy because you get to eat for two, put your feet up, and be pampered as you spend nine months incubating a new life, but pregnancy is no excuse for you to fall off the fitness wagon. In fact, according to workout developer Mesha-Gaye Wright, this is the perfect time to get and stay fit, especially if you want to bounce back like a Kardashian.

“Ideally, you should be at your goal weight before getting pregnant, and part of fertility planning, along with taking folic acid and the like, should be ensuring that you’re eating right and exercising so you’re at optimal health for your baby,” she said. “If you are overweight or too thin, you face a lot of risks going forward, as pregnancy will do a number on your body.”

She said almost all exercises are safe during pregnancy, and all that’s necessary is that the mom-to-be takes extra care when she’s working out.

Here, she shares some guidelines for keeping fit during pregnancy, and right up to your baby’s birth.

Start slow

Do not start a new, strenuous routine or set of routines during pregnancy, and if you were active before, now is not the time to amp things up. Start slowly, with slow steps. The sports and exercises you do will depend on your own health and how active you were before you became pregnant.

Avoid exercise that requires lying on your back

This is self-explanatory, as you don’t want to do anything to harm yourself or your baby. So replace those on-the-back exercises with those where you’re sitting or standing.

Take care with the sun

Avoid brisk exercise in hot, humid weather, because you already sweat a lot and have trouble breathing when you’re pregnant. You want to avoid extra strain on your lungs, so take it slowly, and keep cool.

Avoid high-impact and high-intensity workouts

Avoid jerky, bouncy or high-impact motions, or anything that will cause any pressure on your stomach, back, breasts or legs. Opt for lower intensity workouts, and complement these by eating healthier.

Wear proper shoes

The feet already go through a lot during pregnancy — they’re swelling, widening and getting bigger, so you want to be as gentle on them as possible. Choose the right shoes for the activity you’re doing, and make sure that your feet are well cushioned and give your body good support.

Avoid some moves altogether

Avoid deep-knee bends, full sit-ups, double leg raises and straight-leg toe touches. These are self-explanatory — you want to keep the stomach area safe, and avoid any moves that will cause a strain on your back, hips and pelvic area.

Don’t exhaust yourself

Drink water often to be sure your body gets enough fluid, and stop when your body tells you to. Pregnant women already need extra fluid, but pregnant women who exercise will crave even more. Avoid sweet drinks and choose water products instead.

Remember to firstly consult your obstetrician before starting any programme, and secondly, stop exercising and consult your doctor if you experience pain, vaginal bleeding, dizziness or feeling faint, shortness of breath, irregular or rapid heartbeat, difficulty walking, pain in your back or pubic area, or uterine contractions during or after an exercise session.

LICHELLE PALMER

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