My friend Aileen loves walking and doing Zumba. Recently, she found out that she was 5 weeks pregnant. She was very excited but wondered if she should stop going to her favourite Zumba class. This is a similar question commonly asked by expectant parents and I’m sure many of you want to know if it’s okay.
The short answer is YES! Being active every day is good for both you and your developing baby. It’s important to be aware of the benefits and safety tips during pregnancy.
Remember to consult your health care provider before starting any physical activity routine during your pregnancy.
What are the benefits?
Physical activity is recommended by health professionals as part of a healthy pregnancy. It may:
- improve your mood and self-image
- help ensure appropriate weight gain
- promote better sleep
- help you relax and reduce stress
- increase your muscle tone, strength and endurance
- help build your stamina for labour and birth
- speed up your recovery after labour and birth
- help increase your energy levels
Most importantly, listen to your body and only do what feels comfortable.
What are the safety tips?
- Start easy and slowly
- Include activities that do not involve lying on your back
- Include activities that do not put you at risk of falling or abdominal injury, such as horseback riding, soccer, or basketball
- If using weights, increase repetitions using light weights instead of lifting heavy weights that require you to hold your breath
- Avoid activity in warm/humid environments, especially in the first trimester.
- Drink lots of water