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Safe exercise during pregnancy

With pregnancy comes thoughts and sometimes worries of weight gain, it is only natural to gain weight during pregnancy, this is inevitable. There is however no reason why you should stop exercising once you are pregnant and no reason why you can’t begin exercise routines if you didn’t before. The big question is what exercise is safe for you and your baby, and how much should you be doing. 

There is no doubt it is good to exercise whilst pregnant, studies have shown that your labor is likely to be shorter and less complicated if you are in good physical condition. Do not overdo it, maintain your current fitness do not challenge yourself to increase your fitness levels. Avoid sports that are over exerting or what would be considered a risk to your baby such as horse riding, gymnastics, tennis. Good and safe exercise during pregnancy would be exercise such as swimming, brisk walking, indoor stationary cycling, step or elliptical machines, and low-impact aerobics (taught by certified aerobics instructor). Now more than ever it is important to warm up before any sort of exercises. Most people will push their self when exercising, however this should defiantly not be the case when you are pregnant. Don't exercise until you're exhausted, slow down if you feel it’s a struggle and go at a slow steady pace.  

After the first trimester you should not do any exercising whilst laying on your back, the weight of your uterus is too much pressure on the vena cava, this can reduce blood flow to the heart leaving you dizzy and nauseous. 

Plenty of water is important to avoid dehydration and overheating, as this can trigger contractions. It is very simple to identify dehydration, dark yellow urine is a clear sign of being dehydrated, this being the case you need to increase your water intake until your urine is pale in colour. 

It is important to know the warning signs should you intend to exercise during your pregnancy and what you should do if you experience any of these signs. 

Vaginal Bleeding/Uterine Contractions: Should you feel shaky, winded or if you have vaginal bleeding, contractions or if your membranes rupture you need to stop immediately and seek medical attention. 

Dizziness: This can be caused be dehydration or lack of iron, this can be the case should you be exercising or not and you will need to discuss this with your doctor. If you notice an unusual shortness of breath, stop doing exercises immediately and see with your doctor.