Pregnancy Myth #8 'If you haven't exercised before, you shouldn't start.'

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Don't use this old wives tale as an excuse! Keep fit for a healthy pregnancy.

Pregnant woman exercising

© Getty - Handbag

Prenatal exercise is beneficial for both mum and baby.

Just because you haven't done any regular exercise in the past doesn't mean you should avoid doing any during pregnancy. Something as simple as taking a walk is a good place to start.

Easing yourself into exercise slowly is the key. Choose exercises appropriate for pregnancy and don't overexert yourself.

As a general rule, you should be able to comfortably hold a conversation whilst exercising. If you become breathless whilst talking you might be overdoing it.

The more active you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape. It will also help you to cope better with labour and find it easier to get back into shape after the birth.

There are some types of exercises that should be avoided during pregnancy.

- The NHS advises that you shouldn't lie flat on your back, particularly after 16 weeks, as the weight of your bump can press on big blood vessels and make you feel faint.

- Contact sports such as kickboxing, judo or squash should be avoided as there is an increased chance of injury.

- Don't take part in horse-riding, downhill skiing, ice hockey, gymnastics and cycling, because there's a risk of falling.

For some bump friendly exercises have a look at our exercise of the week.


For more information on pregnancy health and advice go to www.nhs.uk/Start4Life
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