Five Things To Do To Keep Active When Pregnant

by Jen Stoddart

I experienced how hard it can be to exercise and be active in order to be fit healthy when you are expecting a child. It can be very difficult and frustrating.

When I became pregnant with my first child, almost two years ago, I decided that I wanted to continue my active lifestyle. I had always been an active person. I loved to run, walk, swim, and canoe, amongst other things. I thought that if I continued to be active through my pregnancy, I would just increase the chances that I would have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Well, a couple of the months of the pregnancy went by and I was doing great – running a couple of times a week – and then I was gaining weight and my level of commitment was reducing daily. It became simpler to go to work and come home and relax – and to forgo any form of working out. I started to get a bit frustrated with my lack of physical activity so I decided to make it a personal focal point for myself to get back to being active again.

Here is my advice for keeping active during your pregnancy…

1. No time like the present. If you are still in the first part of the pregnancy try to get active right away. It may be as simple as an evening walk through the neighbourhood. The sooner you start the easier it will be as you progress through your expectancy.

2. Tell your partner, friends and other family members of your plan to stay active during the pregnancy. They may chose to be active with (that`s a wonderful added bonus) – but more importantly is that they will remind you of your commitment to be active. They can provide you with the encouragement that you may need on those days when you just don`t want to work out.

3. Most of us know people or have family members that enjoy running, swimming or walking. Invite one or two of them to join you on a regular basis to exercise with you. My dad and I became running partners. Each week we would identify three days that we would run together – and we both kept the schedule. We would run 5 km. together. Knowing that someone else has your exercise time in their schedule makes it very difficult to `bail-out` on exercising.

4. Motivate yourself. Think about what you can realistically achieve – maybe it is to exercise for 30 minutes four times per week; maybe your goal is to get ready to run a 5 mile race – and then actually run it and complete it; maybe your objective is to walk in a 8 mile fundraising event. Establishing something to aim for can be a powerful motivating force for many of us – I know that it was for me.

5. Find different ways to be active. I enjoyed running, but with my changing body, I realized I might not be able to run for nine months. Try swimming, or speed walking, or an aqua fitness class.

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