Fit for two

Article Jan 11, 2013

Top tips for staying fit during and after pregnancy

From relieving backache to aiding fatigue, the benefits of staying fit during and after pregnancy are well documented. But, to reap the rewards, it’s vital you do the right type and intensity of exercise for your stage of pregnancy. Avoiding exercises or activities that may cause you more harm than good is key. Each stage presents different physical challenges so you need to tailor your workouts accordingly to get the most benefit. This will keep you in tip-top condition and help keep you and your baby healthy. Read on for expert tips to staying fit and healthy, from pre- to post-pregnancy.

1. Always check with your GP and midwife before you embark on any new exercise programme.

2. Drink plenty of water to ensure you’re properly hydrated.

3.Wear layers as your core body temperature is naturally warmer during pregnancy. It can also rise at a faster rate, so you can heat up quickly. Removing layers will help you control your temperature.

4. Apply the talk test principle while exercising – you should be able to talk throughout. If you can’t, you’re training too hard and should lighten the intensity.

5. Listen to your body – it knows best! If anything hurts, don’t do it.

6. There are certain moves and types of exercise you should avoid: High-impact exercise can put extra pressure on your joints, breasts and uterus. If you are a regular runner, you may want to stick with it for the first two trimesters, but switch to walking or cross-training in the last trimester. In the later stages of pregnancy your body produces more of the hormone relaxin (to loosen joints), and this can make you more prone to injury. You should also avoid contact sports, horse riding, racquet sports and sports that require balance, such as rollerblading, skiing or ice skating.