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It’s great that you already exercise and want to carry on. Exercise is good for both you and your baby, and as long as you’re healthy with a normal pregnancy, there’s no reason you can’t continue.
Exercise will give you more energy, help you sleep better and reduce your risk of pregnancy-related problems such as backache, high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. It’ll also increase your stamina and strength, helping you cope better with labour, plus you’re less likely to put on excess weight.
And because it boosts your circulation, your baby will receive more oxygen, which is great for all-round health.
The safest choices, especially as your pregnancy progresses, are low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, aqua-aerobics and indoor cycling, which exercise your heart and muscles but are easy on your joints. Yoga and stretching are also fine but if you do any fitness classes, tell the instructor that you’re pregnant. Or better still, find a class specially for pregnant women.
During pregnancy, hormonal changes make your joints more flexible and prone to injury, which is why high-impact exercise should be treated with caution. That said, if you’re a regular jogger with strong joints, you may be able to continue for some time but it’s important to stop if you get problems.
You’re also more at risk of falling as your center of gravity moves, affecting your balance. That’s why it’s best to stay away from potentially dangerous sports such as horse-riding, mountain-biking or downhill skiing as a bad fall could harm your baby. Similarly, contact sports such as kickboxing, judo or squash are unsuitable.
You should be able to hold a conversation while exercising without becoming breathless. If you do become breathless, stop as it may affect the oxygen your baby is getting.
Always stop if you begin to feel exhausted or unwell and try to avoid becoming overheated as it could make you feel dizzy. You get hot more easily during pregnancy so drink plenty of water and get medical advice if you’re worried or unsure about anything.
* We can only give general advice, but as each pregnancy can vary individually, please contact your gynecologist in case of questions or doubts.