Natalie is an Australian expat mum living in Dubai and when she arrived in Dubai 2 years ago, she was 2 months pregnant. Natalie is a fitness freak and she used to work out for 2-3 hours every day prior to her pregnancy. As someone who had just arrived in the UAE, she did not want to spend too much money on expensive health clubs. So she chose to work-out in the most inexpensive way-by walking and swimming, almost every single day until she delivered. Natalie had an absolutely healthy pregnancy, normal vaginal delivery and a handsome little baby boy! She now works as a fitness instructor in a small local gym in Dubai.
We all know exercising during pregnancy has great benefits for both mother and the baby. Regular exercising not only makes pregnancy healthy and stable, but also helps mothers get back to shape faster after delivery. Starting from simple stretching exercises to aerobics, yoga and even some specific sports, pregnant women can benefit from large varieties of exercises that are considered safe for pregnancy.
But before you consider any kind of pregnancy fitness routine, it is important to consult your doctor. Your doctor is the best person to evaluate your current condition and advise you accordingly. You may be advised to avoid exercising or change your activity if you have any complications like threatened abortion, history of premature labor, low placenta or multiple pregnancies.
Always start slowly and watch how your body is responding. Then gradually keep increasing your activity levels if you do not experience any discomfort. Exercise should not be exhausting or painful. If you experience fatigue, then don’t continue beyond that limit. You may feel weak and get easily exhausted during the 1st trimester and during the last few weeks before delivery. Listen to what your body says!
Exercise as regularly as possible and be consistent with your activities. Do not skip one day and try to make up for it another day. If you plan to add new activities to your exercise program, do it slowly and gradually. All stretching exercises should be done carefully within your flexibility limits. Overstretching can lead to muscle pull and ligament damage as your connective tissue becomes very soft and vulnerable to injury during pregnancy.
Do not perform vigorous exercises that can make you feel hot or sweat a lot. Avoid exercising in a heated environment. And remember to drink a lot of water. Dehydration could be very dangerous for pregnant women.
Remember you are not exercising to lose weight, so choose a fitness routine that you feel is gentle and safe for you and your baby.