The exercises you need to try for an energy boost when pregnant
Pregnancy can seem like the perfect excuse to eat what you want and do nothing.
Tired? Put your feet up. Cravings? Have a KitKat. Backache? Stop moving around so much. Yet studies show that exercise and nutrient-rich foods are much better fatigue-fighters than an afternoon in front of the TV.
Get your body in shape and you’ll help wave pregnancy downsides goodbye.
‘Aside from giving you more energy and fewer bump-related side effects, research shows women who are fitter have easier births, less medical intervention and recover faster,’ says fitness expert Jane Wake. ‘Their babies also tend to be leaner and healthier, with less fat and a stronger heartbeat.’
Try these ultimate pregnancy booster tools.
1 The core clincher
Pilates is a fantastic way to work your core muscles, which are put under the most strain in pregnancy. A strong core makes your body more able to cope with the weight of your bump, meaning you’ll have fewer aches and pains during your nine months.
It also helps with recovery after the birth because the muscles you’ve been working will spring back faster. Yoga has a similar effect and helps with breathing and relaxation, too.
2 The leg strengthener
Doing a series of lunges and squats every day to strengthen your legs relieves the pressure on your back and means you can stay active for longer during labour. Don’t go too low – aim for a comfortable stretch and, if they hurt, adjust your position or stop.
You need to be supported, holding onto a sturdy chair or table and, ideally, go to an antenatal class to get your technique right before trying it at home.
3 The perfect cardio
Regular cardiovascular exercise will help you feel confident in your body. Try gentle aerobics, walking, swimming – anything that suits you and is accessible.
Aim for 30 to 60 minutes most days, making sure you can hold a conversation while doing it. Another bonus is that babies tend to be more easily soothed with movement once they’re born if you exercise in pregnancy.
4 The water walk
Walking for long periods can be tough towards the end of pregnancy, so do it in water instead – it’ll leave you feeling weightless.
Wear aqua socks so you don’t slip and, once immersed up to your chest, just move through the water, holding in your core muscles.
5 Get kitted out
Hormones produced during pregnancy make everything a bit looser, so strength training is vital. The best way to do this is with stretchy bands or tubes, available from most fitness stores, which you can pull between your hands to strengthen your arms or between your feet and hands for deeper stretches.
This also gives you more control by learning to push your whole body against resistance – super-helpful during the birth process.
How do you get a boost in pregnancy? Let us know in the comments box below