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The Best Exercise To Do During And After Pregnancy



The Best Exercise To Do During And After Pregnancy

Knowing how best to exercise safely and in the right way can be daunting enough. But if you’re pregnant or you’ve recently given birth, you may be left even more daunted and confused. 

So in this article, we’re going to highlight the exercises you can do that are safe during and after pregnancy to help demystify this uncertain time. 

The most important thing to remember when exercising whilst pregnant or after you’ve given birth (especially if you had a caesarean section) is to listen to both your doctor and, arguably more importantly, your own body. If either are telling you that something is too strenuous, or if something doesn’t feel right, you must stop, and seek medical attention if you’re concerned. 

That said, staying fit and active during pregnancy can help you manage labour and make losing excess weight after pregnancy easier if that’s what you plan to do. The NHS advise that exercise whilst pregnant should be done at a level where you can still hold a conversation as you do so. If you become too breathless to speak, then you’re probably exercising too strenuously. They also suggest that if you didn’t exercise very much before you became pregnant, then during pregnancy isn’t the time to begin. Instead, daily, gentle walks are a good idea. 

In fact, walking whilst pregnant each day (or at least a few days a week) is a great way of keeping active whilst reaping the mental health benefits of being outside in fresh air and nature. Aim for around 30 minutes at a pace that you’re comfortable with.  

If you were a runner or a jogger before pregnancy, then you can safely carry on. You should just reduce your pace if you’re used to getting breathless whilst running. 

Yoga is also safe during pregnancy. You should take care though to avoid yoga poses that require you to lay on your back (if you’re 16 weeks pregnant or more), lay upside down or on your front or to twist or bend your back. Holding your breath or taking short, powerful breaths is also best avoided, as advised by the the NCT. 

If you’re used to lifting weights, then there’s no reason to stop exercising with weights during your pregnancy. You may need to reduce the weight you use if it feels like the exercise is too strenuous, and avoid holding your breath for too long, as this can cause problems with your blood pressure and dizziness. 

In terms of your OYG workouts, again, if you’re used to our classes, then there’s no reason to stop. Unless that is, you feel like it’s too much, you’re getting too breathless to talk or you’re needing to hold your breath and it’s making you feel faint or dizzy. If in any doubt, always speak to your midwife or doctor. 

After pregnancy, the NHS recommend that you wait until your six week check before starting any exercise. Speak to your midwife about your options, but at this point, it’s usually safe to begin some gentle walking and stretching. 

If you had a C section, your recovery will be longer and your return to exercise will also be a little longer. Your midwife or doctor will be able to advise you when you can safely begin to exercise again, and your start should be gentle and controlled.

But in the meantime, enjoy your pregnancy, and your cute little bundle of joy!

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