Congratulations! You’re pregnant and about to embark on an exciting yet daunting journey! Here, we’ll discuss is it safe for to exercise during my pregnancy? You may have always exercised and want to know if its okay to continue to do so while you are pregnant, the answer is yes! Or, you haven’t done much exercise in the past but are keen to keep your body strong and flexible during your pregnancy and prepare you for the arrival of your baby, the answer is also yes! Of course, its never just a simple ‘yes’ though!
Exercise During Pregnancy: Recommendations
It is recommended that during pregnancy, exercise is of low impact, at a low-moderate intensity and appropriate to your level of fitness. Exercise such as pilates, yoga, walking or aqua-aerobics are some examples of low impact and low intensity exercise. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, multiple pregnancies or if you have any incidence of bleeding or contractions that occur with exercise, it is advised that you seek medical guidance before beginning or continuing exercise. The current guidelines state that it is okay to continue with the exercise that you were doing before falling pregnant rather than taking up something that is completely different or new to what you have done before (so it is not a good time to start training for a marathon if before your pregnancy you were just used to walking for exercise!)
Exercise During Pregnancy: Precautions
The Talk Test One way that you can monitor if your pregnancy exercise is at an appropriate low-moderate intensity is by using the talk test. Are you able to hold a normal conversation while you are performing your exercise? If yes, then you can continue. If you are only able to say a few words and are out of breath, you need to stop and catch your breath then resume but reduce the intensity that you are working at. Laying on Your Back From 18 weeks onwards, it is advised that you do not do exercise/s that require you to lay on your back. This is because the weight of your growing baby can restrict blood flow to a major blood vessel to you and your baby. It can also make you feel quite faint and light-headed. Exercises that can be done on hands and knees, laying on your side, sitting, kneeling or standing are safe. Over-Stretching Expect your exercise tolerance and type of exercise to change as your pregnancy progresses. As your body and hormones change, so will your pregnancy exercises. During your second trimester, the hormone relaxin, which is responsible for making your ligaments looser, peaks, and so it is important to not over stretch during this time. When your third trimester arrives, and your baby and belly has grown significantly, staying balanced will become more difficult as your centre of gravity is altered. It is important during this time that care is taken when doing exercise that may challenge your balance.
Listen To Your Body
Sometimes you can feel pretty miserable during your first trimester and exercising during pregnancy is the last thing that you feel like participating in. That’s okay. When you feel up to getting back to it, it is recommended that you take it slow and not pick up from where you left off. Overall, it is important to stay safely active and healthy throughout your pregnancy to help your body prepare for childbirth and the journey that follows thereafter. If you are unsure, always speak with your Maternal Health Physio, Obstetrician or GP before beginning or continuing exercise when you are pregnant.
Want To Start Pilates?
Click here for more information about starting Pilates while you’re pregnant