Heard Exercising During Pregnancy

BUMP BENEFITS

Indeed, not only do mums-to-be and new mums benefit from all the positive effects associated with an active lifestyle (feel-good hormones, weight management and stronger bones, muscles and joints), they also reap some maternity-specific rewards. While there can be medical reasons to avoid exercise during pregnancy (check with your doctor or midwife to be sure), a bank of data shows that staying fit can help prevent pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, Caesarean section, lower-back pain, pelvic pain and urinary incontinence.

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New research from Washington State University even reports that exercising during pregnancy could protect the unborn child from obesity later in life. And it’s not only sporty women who should work out. ‘Exercise should be performed not only by healthy pregnant women, but also by sedentary females… this is a good time to adopt a physically active lifestyle,’ confirms Maria Perales, author of a key study published in the Journal of American Medicine Association, which recommends pregnant women do a 45- to 65-minute strength and aerobic workout three to four times a week.

A GROWING TREND

It’s no wonder there’s a growing wave of fitness offerings aimed at pre- and post-natal women. ‘Exercise is now actively encouraged,’ explains Jane Wake, celebrity trainer. ‘Only a few years ago, it was frowned upon. Now, GPs and midwives know how important it is.’ It helps that a host of celeb mums have been spotted moving during maternity – influencers Emily Skye and Kayla Itsines regularly posted pregnancy workouts to their millions of followers during their recent pregnancies. Made in Chelsea star Binky Felstead had no qualms about sharing her post-natal exercise videos, and we’ve all been inspired by Meghan Markle’s yoga-honed pregnant body.

So we’ve tapped a few well-known fit celebs to find out how they shaped up for motherhood. Pr egnancy is a time to sit back, put your feet up and let someone else do the heavy lifting – right? Sure, you could, but a growing number of today’s new mamas extoll the benefits of getting more active before and after labour. ‘Pre- and post- natal fitness has become one of the fastest-growing activity trends due to its many health gains,’ says Natasha Wood, pre- and post-natal exercise specialist natashajwood.com). ‘Women are increasingly aware of how important staying active is before pregnancy, and how it will support their journey into motherhood after it.’

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