Gentle exercise during pregnancy is not only considered safe but it is generally recommended to all pregnant women to ensure their fitness during pregnancy and to prepare their bodies for birth. Ideally an exercise routine should start at least three months before you conceive to ensure your body is in top condition for carrying a baby, but there’s usually no problem with starting a gentle program of exercise during your first or second trimester.
Always check with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you to carry out your chosen form of exercise but nearly all women can take part in some kind of activity to keep them feeling fit and healthy. If you’re on bed rest, ask your doctor for some gentle exercises you can do in bed to keep your blood flow going and reduce muscle wastage.
The best types of exercise during pregnancy are low impact exercises that do not cause your heart rate to become too high. Unless you were very fit before you became pregnant, you should not take up sports such as aerobics or running. Walking is an easy and healthy option for everyone and is particularly helpful during the third trimester to help move your baby down in preparation for birth. Swimming in pregnancy is also a good option as the water supports the weight of your body. Pregnancy yoga classes have become very popular in recent times and this is also a great way to relax and practice breathing techniques for the birth.
Make sure you have the right gear for your chosen form of exercise – comfortable shoes for walking, maternity swim suits if you’re swimming and loose stretchy clothing and a mat for yoga. Be careful to start off slowly and not push your body too far. Make sure you stay hydrated and your body does not become overheated while you’re exercising