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YOUR HEALTH DURING PREGNANCY
Although pregnancy is not an illness, it makes demands on you physically and emotionally. So it is important to look after your self, and to achieve a balance between activity and rest. Being pregnant calls for a review of your lifestyle. For instance, you may need to consider giving up alcohol or cigarettes, or a demanding sport.
In addition to the early physical changes, you may also experience mood changes. This is quite normal and is due to the dramatic rise in hormone levels during the first 12 weeks. By about 14 weeks, these mood swings usually subside, as your body adjusts to pregnancy hormones.
AREASONABLE amount of regular exercise during pregnancy is considered safe and beneficial for most women. It improves blood circulation, makes you look and feel better, strengthens your muscles, relieves tension, and helps you to relax. If you are physically fit, you are likely to have an easier pregnancy and labour.
However, pregnancy is not the time to take up a new strenuous sport. But if you are normally active you can, within reason, continue with sports to which you are usually accustomed. Swimming is an excellent exercise, which uses many different muscles, while the water supports your weight. Even if you don't have a regular exercise routine, you can have a daily walk.
The key to successful exercising is to be sensible and listen to what your body is telling you. Don't push yourself if you don't feel like exercising, and rest when you feel tired. If you usually attend keep-fit or aerobic classes tell the instructor that you are pregnant, so your routine can be adapted to suit you.
SOME EXERCISE GUIDELINES
Mild to moderate exercise is beneficial during pregnancy;
If you are not used to exercise, start gently and increase gradually;
Regular exercise (at least three times a week) is better than occasional spurts.
Don't start a new sport. Carry on with a sport you enjoy, if this is considered safe for you;
Always 'warm up' with a gentle routine before more demanding exercise.
Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration;
Wear a good support bra.
Avoid jarring, jumping and high- impact motions;
Don't exercise in very hot weather.
Don't ignore signs of tiredness or injury.
Take plenty of rest.
Stop exercising and consult your doctor if you experience unusual symptoms such as vaginal bleeding, pain, dizziness or fainting.
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