Bump Up Your Workout
Shape Singapore|October 2018

Just because youre growing a life inside doesnt mean that you should rest on your laurels. Here are ways to fine-tune your fitness routine during pregnancy.

Adlena Wong And Estelle Low

Neo Ko Hui was a school track star in her teens who went on to play touch rugby.

But when she found out she was pregnant eight years ago, the physical education teacher ended up “just walking for long periods of time”.

In contrast, her second pregnancy last year saw her running and lifting weights right up to her last trimester.

“I realised that it was easier to get back into shape if I maintained or lessened the more strenuous workouts. It was tough with the daily demands of work and taking care of my first child, but the importance of staying healthy by eating right and keeping active kept me going,” says the 37-year-old, who started with lighter intensity workouts in the first trimester before resuming her normal pace from the second trimester.

If you’ve always been active like Ko Hui and don’t have medical or obstetric complications, it’s perfectly safe to continue until you give birth.

According to guidelines by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day on most, if not all, days of the week is recommended.

“Exercise improves stamina and keep muscles supple, which help ease the progress of labour,” explains Dr Irene Chua, senior consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Irene Chua Clinic for Women. “It also helps strengthen back muscles to cope with weight gain in pregnancy, thus easing backaches.”

However, bear in mind that the changes in hormonal levels will inevitably affect your stamina, coordination and strength. So, always listen to your body, say fitness experts who work with expectant mums.

“Exercise also releases endorphins, which boost the mood and help one sleep better,” Dr Chua adds.

But if you’ve never or hardly worked out before, she advises that you consult your doctor and start only after the first trimester – ideally in a group or under the guidance of a qualified instructor.

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