I often have people ask me about pregnancy, is it safe to exercise?
Firstly CONGRATULATIONS! <3
Hopefully this will help you…I’d suggest that anyone who is pregnant or perhaps wants to become pregnant in future that you read through.
Thank you x
Pregnancy Need to Know
As always, check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
In the absence of contraindications pregnant women are encouraged to engage in 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day on most, if not all, days of the week.
During the second and third trimesters, pregnant women should avoid standing motionless for too long and exercising while lying on their backs.
But don’t exercise if…
Aerobic exercise during pregnancy is not safe if you have any of these medical conditions:
■ Significant heart or lung disease
■ An incompetent cervix or cerclage
■ You are carrying more than one baby and are at risk for premature labour
■ Persistent second- or third- trimester bleeding
■ Placenta Previa past 26 weeks of pregnancy
■ Premature labour during your current pregnancy
■ Ruptured membranes
■ Preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension)
Warning Signs to Stop Exercising and Call Your Doctor
■ Vaginal bleeding
■ Dyspnea (difficult or laboured breathing) prior to exertion
■ Chest pain
■ Muscle weakness
■ Calf pain or swelling
■ Preterm labour
■ Decreased foetal movement
■ Amniotic fluid leakage
If you have been following a regular exercise program prior to your pregnancy, you should be able to maintain that program to some degree throughout your pregnancy. Exercise does not increase the risk of miscarriage in a normal low risk pregnancy.
The important thing is to discuss these pregnancy exercise guidelines with your health care provider and set up the right routine for you.
Pregnancy Exercise Guidelines
• If you are just starting an exercise program as a way of improving your health during your pregnancy, you should start very slowly and be careful not to over exert yourself.
• Listen to your body. Your body will naturally give you signals that it is time to reduce the level of exercise you are performing.
• Never exercise to the point of exhaustion or breathlessness. This is a sign that your baby and your body cannot get the oxygen they need.
• Wear comfortable exercise footwear that gives strong ankle and arch support.
• Take frequent breaks, and drink plenty of fluids during exercise.
• Avoid exercising in extremely hot weather.
• Weight training should emphasize improving tone, especially in the upper body and abdominal area. Avoid lifting weights above your
head and using weights that strain the lower back muscles.
• During the second and third trimesters, avoid exercise that involves lying flat on your back as this decreases blood flow to the uterus.
• Include relaxation and stretching before and after your exercise program.
• Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates.
Mode: Weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing exercise are thought to be safe during pregnancy. Improved maternal fitness is a well-known benefit of non-weight-bearing exercise such as swimming and cycling.
Weight bearing exercises are similarly beneficial as long as they are comfortable.
Swimming and stationary cycling are excellent non-weight bearing exercises, and may be recommended.
Walking, jogging and low-impact aerobics programs are good choices when weight-bearing exercise is to be considered.
Heavy weightlifting, or similar activities that require straining, are discouraged.
Bicycle riding, especially during the second and third trimesters, should be avoided because of changes in balance and the risk of falling.
Intensity: Pregnancy is probably not a time for serious competition.
For women who are continuing their regular exercise regimen during pregnancy, exercise intensity should not exceed pre-pregnancy levels.
The intensity of exercise should be regulated by how hard a woman believes she is working. Moderate to hard is quite safe for a woman who is accustomed to this level of exercise.
Exercise: A healthy woman with a normal pregnancy may either continue her regular exercise regimen.