There are a number of effective antenatal exercise programmes that are low impact and will cause no major stress to your joints and muscles – and they offer numerous physical and emotional benefits.
Yoga or Pilates
- Opens the pelvis to enable a (hopefully!) shorter and more active labour
- Increases strength and control of the pelvic floor muscles
- Teaches the mind and body how to relax
- Strengthens and lengthens the spinal and abdominal muscles, increasing flexibility
- Provides an intense body workout in a resistance-free environment
- Is sociable and provides a great way to meet other expectant mums!
- Is for anyone – it doesn’t matter what your fitness level is.
Swimming and aquanatal
- A safe way to stay fit in pregnancy and being low impact, it reduces the risk of injury
- Improves circulation
- Increases muscle tone and strength
- Builds stamina – very important for labour!
- Can help ease some pregnancy symptoms, including backache and swelling and cramping legs
Why choose a pregnancy-focussed exercise class?
Firstly, it’s another great place to meet other mums-to-be (outside of your antenatal classes). But more importantly, your body undergoes many changes in pregnancy. If your instructor doesn’t understand these changes, you might end up with an unnecessary injury – or be pushed too hard which could lead to dizziness and fainting. Pregnancy-focused classes will be tailored to meet your varying needs as a soon-to-be mum.
See Changes to your body: the effect of exercise in pregnancy for more information.
If you do not want to join a pregnancy-focused exercise class, a good 30 minute walk is another safe way to stay fit and healthy in pregnancy.
Information provided by Fit 2 Drop