Summer holidays are always filled with trips away and lots of festive food. Even though your preggie workouts may seem like a distant memory, you can still keep up your fitness levels and keep the flab at bay.
Being too sedentary causes muscle strain and fatigue, while
exercise is good for releasing endorphins, promotes your circulation and replenishes
energy levels. So commit to keep moving this holiday!
To beat pregnancy heat exhaustion, nothing’s better than
water exercise. Swimming provides aerobic exercise, strengthens and tones the
entire body, and can be performed throughout your pregnancy. It is invigorating
and relaxing and one of the most adaptable forms of fitness activities. Whether
on your own or in a class, at home, on holiday or at your local municipal pool,
you will enjoy the advantages of working out in water. Just swimming a few laps
in a pool will get your heartbeat going, but for added benefits try these
Kick up – Kick down
Sitting on a pool noodle or on the steps of the pool, with
your hands on the step for support, allow your legs to float towards the surface
of the water. Begin kicking, small kicks with feet close together and pressing
toes slightly inwards. Do this for one to three minutes. Turn over, and allow legs
to float upward. Repeat the movement for one to three minutes. Do not actively
point your toes as this could cause you to cramp.
This exercise is excellent for strengthening the abdominal
muscles. Lying with your back towards the pool noodle, place your arms along
the length of the noodle and grasp it firmly. Straighten your spine and let
your legs float upwards to the surface of the water. With your feet together and
your knees bent, pull your knees towards your chest as high as you can manage.
Breathe out as you do this. Then straighten your legs as you press them forward,
breathing in as you do so. Do this ten times.
Another activity that is fun, free and fabulous is walking.
No need for any special equipment – all you need are your legs, feet and good
walking shoes. So grab a hat and sunscreen and remember not to walk at the peak
heat of the day. Walking is the ideal fitness activity as it takes no special
skill and can be done with a partner or on your own. It does not stress your
body in any way that is unfamiliar. You control just how hard you want to walk.
Plus, walking is something that you can safely do right up until the day you
deliver. Your walking workout should not be too vigorous.
You should be able to
speak in complete sentences and not be huffing and puffing and out of breath.
Walk comfortably at a pace that you would describe as moderately challenging. It
is imperative that you drink adequate amounts of water before, during and after
your walk. Drinking water keeps your core temperature stable. As pregnancy
progresses yourbalance becomes affected so walk in an area that is safe and
developed. Walk briskly and be aware of your posture.
Because of your changing size and shape and the shift in
your centre of gravity your body will feel and move differently, changing the way
you walk or run. Keep your arms pumping at a 90-degree angle and your elbows
bent and close to your body. It may feel difficult at first, but you will have
a better workout if you walk as straight as possible, with your chest lifted
and expanded and your chin up and pulled back.
Keep your shoulders back and
your abdominals and buttocks held tight. To prevent joint pain, begin walking in
short strides. Long ones can hurt your hips and pelvic area – due to the ligaments
becoming more lax under the influence of pregnancy hormones. Don’t walk more
than 45 to a maximum of 60 minutes unless you are very fit and an experienced
STRETCH IT OUT
Pack your yoga mat along with your holiday items. Getting
away from it all may mean that physically you relax, but mentally it may be
harder to unwind than you think. Taking some time out on rising in the morning
or settling down at dusk to do a couple of yoga postures and breathing
techniques can start up your day or end it off tranquilly. Yoga postures are
ideal for alleviating many of the aches and pains created by the postural
changes in the pregnant woman. You do not have to be a yoga fundi to do the
Kneel, or sit comfortably with ankles crossed. Relax your
shoulders and feel your lower body (legs and pelvic area) extending and
releasing to the floor.
Breathing softly, let your head fall forward. You will feel
a strong stretch at the back of your neck. Slowly roll your head to one
shoulder, then back and around. Pause wherever you feel tension, or your neck
feels tight or tender, releasing the tension with each exhalation. Make sure you
keep your jaw, shoulders and knees soft and relaxed. Slowly and gently circle
your head eight times, alternating direction.
This relieves leg cramps and strengthens ankles. Sit
comfortably, with a straight back, legs outstretched hip-width apart. Rotate
each ankle for eight counts in each direction, breathing slowly. Try not to move
your whole foot, making sure to flex the ankle bones only. tailor sitting Do
this to enhance circulation to the pelvic region – it relieves piles and varicose
veins and increases hip flexibility. Place a cushion under each thigh to
support the gradual stretching of your hips and inner thighs.
Bring the soles
of your feet together and draw them in, letting your knees drop to the ground.
Rest your hands on your knees and with several, gentle breaths, draw your knees
further down with each exhalation. Try not to bounce or push too hard. Place
your hands behind you and lean back with your spine straight.
With your head
comfortably forward, take long deep breaths; this nourishes you and baby,
allowing for vital energy flow throughout your body. Caution: Avoid if you have
pain in the front of the pelvis. If you have pain in the back of the pelvis, place
your feet further out in front of you.
These can and should be done anytime, anywhere to strengthen
pelvic floor muscles and increase circulation to the entire pelvic region.
Choose a comfortable position, either half-kneeling or halfsquatting, or take
up a knee-chest position (on your elbows and knees).
Take a few relaxing
breaths, close your eyes and visualise your pelvic floor muscles. As you
exhale, squeeze around your vagina and back passage, lift deep into the pelvis and
hold for two seconds. Release slowly, with control, and completely soften around
the perineum and sphincter muscle. Repeat 15 times.
Are you pregnant? How are you staying fit over the festive season? mail us email@example.com we might publish your response