In the past, doctors warned women against any physical exercise during pregnancy. These days, however, studies have shown this to be wrong. Regular exercise during pregnancy has been shown to benefit both mother and baby in a variety of ways.

 

Are you planning on hitting the gym again or starting up a new fitness regime? Be sure to put some thought into packing your gym bag. In this week’s article, we look at some of the essentials to keep in your bag when exercising. *

 

Comfortable Shoes

 

Firstly, you’re going to need the right kind of shoes for working out. Aim for running shoes or trainers that are specifically designed for activity and fitness. Before purchasing them, however, try them out to see if you’re comfortable wearing them. Ideally, you want shoes with plenty of arch support - so as to avoid putting too much pressure on your back.

 

Also, keep in mind that your feet will often swell up during pregnancy. For this reason, your old trainers might be too tight for you during your prenatal months. It’s important to wear shoes that fit your properly when exercising, so it’s recommended that you purchase a new pair, now that you’re pregnant.

 

Durable Water Bottle

 

Staying adequately hydrated is extremely important. It’s recommended that expectant women get around 12 to 13 glasses of water per day. Whether you’re exercising in a gym, as part of a fitness class, or on your own, it’s always a good idea to have a water bottle near at hand.

 

When it comes to water bottles, there’s a huge variety out there. Look for a bottle that is durable and practical.

 

Layers of Comfortable, Active-Wear Clothing

 

Overheating is quite common during pregnancy, so it’s always good to plan accordingly. It’s generally a good idea to wear a few layers while your exercise, so you can add or remove according to the temperature.

 

Similarly, aim for comfortable clothing that’s designed for activity. Because of that growing belly, you might find that extra-long tops and t-shirts are more comfortable and help cover more. Clothes that will stretch as your belly grows are usually a more practical and cost-effective option.

 

Anti-Friction Balm

 

This can be a serious life-saver. Anti-friction gel or balm will help reduce chafing around your thighs and breasts, which is one of the more unpleasant side-effects of exercising. You can also use it on your heels or anywhere else that’s susceptible to skin irritation and chafing.

  

Sports Bra

 

More than likely, your breasts are growing in size alongside your belly. That’s why you’re going to need a bra that properly fits your body and provides support. Look for a sports bra that is designed to absorb impact and moisture.

 

Maternity Leggings

 

Look for maternity leggings that are specifically designed for fitness or active-wear. These will generally be more moisture-absorbent than regular maternity leggings. You’ll also want leggins with a high waist and that are elasticated, so they grow as your belly grows.

 

So there you go. As always, we hope this helps!

 

* Exercising while pregnant poses some special risks. Experts warn against certain types of activities. Before starting any exercise plan, discuss this with your doctor or healthcare professional.