Let's talk about: exercising!
Did you think that exercising during your pregnancy is unwise? Then you are wrong! Or did you see your pregnancy as an excuse to finally get out of sports (for the 'I-sport-only-because-it-has-to-be' women among us)? Then I have to disappoint you, because staying active during your pregnancy cannot harm, and is even important! Mommies to be who exercise have fewer problems with pregnancy ailments, and sporty moms also recover faster from their delivery. We all want that, right? Maybe you're already wandering off thinking about your postnatal body, and getting back in shape (hello sun, sea, and beach!). But let's not get ahead of ourselves yet, because exercising during your pregnancy should of course be done responsibly. But what should you take into account and which sports can you continue to do?
Before you were pregnant, were you a regular swimming pool goer (in other words: were you a real pool mermaid)? Did you enjoy taking long walks with your friends or your furry friend? Then you can continue to do so. In short, sports that were part of your exercise routine before you were pregnant can still be practiced now. It's a good idea to postpone practicing new sports until after your pregnancy. After all, you don't want to be faced with any unpleasant surprises. Of course, the golden rule is that you should listen to your own body. Forcing is never good! Here are a few valuable tips:
- Do you have an excessively high body temperature, is your heart racing, and do you have trouble breathing during exercise? Slow it down lady!
- During your pregnancy, you need more energy. Eating a snack that contains a lot of slow-release sugars before you exercise is therefore wise.
- It's best to avoid exercising in warm weather (yes, a day off!).
- Avoid exercises that require you to lie on your back for a long time, as this is dangerous for the blood supply.
- Sports to avoid during your pregnancy include horseback riding, skiing, diving, soccer, field hockey, basketball, volleyball, and handball. After all, you don't want to risk a fall or a punch to the gut right now.
- Pregnancy with complications? Discuss with your midwife what you can and cannot do about sports. In case of symptoms such as back and headaches, dizziness, vomiting, vaginal bleeding or water loss, or uterine contractions, you should in any case immediately call a doctor.
- A properly supportive sports bra is a must. Case in point.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
What sports could you do during your pregnancy?
Now you're aware of the most important do's and don'ts when it comes to exercising during your pregnancy. But which sports are recommended for pregnant women, and therefore for you too?
Swimming is an ideal way for pregnant women to keep moving. The shock load is minimal and the water supports your body with a growing baby bump. Did you know that the little one in your belly also enjoys it when you swim? Yes, the rocking movements you make while swimming have a calming effect on the baby.
Cycling may sound a little less appealing as a 'sport', but this is one that you can continue to do for a reasonably long time during your pregnancy. Cycling puts less pressure on your joints and you can cycle at a slow pace, so you don't ask too much of your pregnant body. Always make sure that there is enough distance between your belly and the handlebars. Tip: put the handlebars a little higher.
Did you know that yoga during pregnancy has many advantages for you and the baby? It increases your flexibility, strength, and stamina (good for the delivery!). Yoga is also very good for your lung capacity. It also stimulates the bond with the little one in your belly. It is important to note, however, that not all forms of yoga are suitable for a pregnant body. Power yoga, vigorous yoga, or ashtanga yoga are best postponed until after pregnancy, due to excessive intensity.
Low-impact aerobic exercises are also great to add to your exercise routine during pregnancy. These exercises have great benefits for your heart, lungs, blood vessels, and muscle tone! When your cardiovascular system is strong, you have more energy. And trust me, you can use that during pregnancy. Plus, you're less likely to have balance problems with good muscle tone, and it supports the changes in your body.
Walking, as simple as that, is very healthy during your pregnancy. It helps to strengthen your muscles, minimize weight gain, and lower the risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. In addition, a rounder belly often equals a curvier posture. And this is where walking comes in, as walking helps you maintain better posture. As if these were not enough benefits, hiking also improves your mood. Bring your four-legged friend along and enjoy the beautiful nature!