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Pregnancy is a delicate phase of any woman’s life but being active and keeping fit during pregnancy is beneficial. In all cases, though, consult your physician or gynecologist before considering any exercise or sport.

Of course, it’s common knowledge that you have to avoid strenuous activity and exercises and routines that would be detrimental to the progression of pregnancy. These include any excessive weight-bearing exercises and routines that would make you extremely exhausted.

A general rule of thumb is that in most cases, if you have been physically active before your pregnancy, you can continue at a slightly lower pace of activity during pregnancy. In no circumstance should you try to exceed your pre-pregnancy level of activity while you are pregnant.

During early pregnancy, your little baby, in the form of a fetus, is very firmly attached to the wall of your uterus. So, you can definitely continue your getaways on the green. Your golf swing will definitely not dislodge baby. Only, don’t swing with too much gusto! Why? During pregnancy, your body becomes more supple. You might feel more flexible but that’s only because your hormones are causing your ligaments to relax and get softer in preparation for delivery. And, in this condition, your body is more susceptible to strain from activity. So, over-activity on your part could result in painful joints.

What about bumps and falls sustained during a sporting activity? Up to 10 weeks into your pregnancy, you do not need to worry too much about these little accidents. The precious fetus is still surrounded by the protective bones of the pelvis–it has insurance against accidental falls.

What if you are a newbie to the golf scene and you want to make your inroads when you just find out that you are pregnant?

You can safely take up golf during early pregnancy even if you haven’t been all that physically active before. Bear in mind that your body is changing and there might be discomforts that you would have to put up with. These include tender breasts, frequent urination, getting easily fatigued, and in some cases, light-headedness and nausea.

If you have any back problems or varicose veins, those conditions could get exacerbated during pregnancy and it would help if you do not engage in activities that require you to be on your feet for extended periods. And that would make golf one of them.

As your pregnancy progresses, you may experience more of aches and pains. This is because your body shape is changing according to baby’s growing needs. This will also affect your posture. You might experience aches in your back, neck, and legs as a result. Your lower ribs and spine may be displaced a bit to accommodate baby and this could put stress on your diaphragm, making difficulty in breathing something you notice for the first time.

And, it may not be as comfortable to make those swings once your bulge begins to show. Of course, you will feel heavier too. But, as long as you’re not causing too much discomfort to yourself, swing away, girl!

If you are a golfer mom and you’re pregnant again, and especially if you are in the later stages of pregnancy, you might find that your posture is different now than it was in your earlier pregnancies. This is because as baby finds less space within your abdomen to move about, he or she adopts the most comfortable position. This may not be the same position that your previous child adopted while in the womb. And, you have to make postural changes accordingly. If these changes conflict with your personal preferences, you might find it harder to adapt to baby’s posture. This may also cause aches and pains.

It is important to note that you must stop golf or any exercise or sport, for that matter, if you experience one or more of following symptoms during the activity:
• increased joint pain
• dizziness
• bleeding
• cramping
• elevated blood pressure

Make sure you always:
• Stop any activity as soon as you are tired. Do not push yourself to exhaustion.
• Exercise regularly and consistently–least three times per week. If you are accustomed to exercising more often, alternate easy and more difficult workouts.
• Stay hydrated–drink plenty of fluids, especially water, before and after exercise. Do not hesitate to interrupt your regimen for a drink. Do this at least every fifteen minutes.

In your last trimester, if golf is too much for you, try swimming, if you already know how to swim. It’s gentle on your body and you can pace yourself. In fact, just walking in the water (submerged up to your neck or chest) is good enough exercise if you don’t know how to swim.

Remember, even if you can’t golf, just a visit to the course will do you good.♣

 

Article By: Janet Strain

Photo: Ashley Krain (Lautens) / Toronto Star