Exercising while pregnant can help you stay in tip-top shape and boost your confidence, especially as your tummy is gets bigger. But, you need the blessing of your healthcare provider before hitting the gym, says Dr Abigail Lukhaimane, an obstetrician and gynaecologist. “One of the key rules of exercising while pregnant is to always ask first, and if you’re unsure, then don’t do it,” she adds.

Generally, low-impact movements are the best form of exercise for pregnant women. This is because you only need to double your heart rate, and not try to push yourself too hard.

“So activities like swimming, pilates, and all kinds of non weight- bearing exercises, are really good,” Lukhaimane explains. But, if you’re an avid runner, jogger or fast-paced walker, any of those will also do.

Just remember to take it easy, Dr Karabo Tlale advises. “If it feels too uncomfortable or becomes painful, then rather stop and seek help,” she adds.

THE BENEFITS

A mother who’s been exercising while expecting, generally, tolerates the pregnancy better. She’ll also cope during delivery and recuperate better. Other bene ts, Tlale adds, include preventing gestational diabetes – if a mother starts gaining too much weight during pregnancy, it makes delivery and healing much more complicated.

into its old routine much easier. You also tolerate rigorous exercise better, helping you to get back into shape faster.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Exercises that should be avoided are those that a ect the pregnancy by position, Lukhaimane points out. “Your centre of gravity changes as the pregnancy advances, so you’ll nd that certain exercises might become more di cult to do. You can’t expect to do sit- ups or stomach crunches when you’re in the third trimester of pregnancy, for instance.”

LOOKING FOR MORE YUMMY RECIPES? GRAB THE TRUE LOVE JULY ISSUE, ON SALE NOW!