Can you exercise whilst pregnant?
Can I exercise whilst pregnant?
In short, of course!
There are so many benefits of exercising throughout your pregnancy. As long as you have the right guidance and support, it can only benefit you. Many misconceptions about pregnancy and exercise can lead women to be overly cautious.
Let’s look at the benefits first off...
Research shows that exercise may prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy, it can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and also maintain your physical fitness.
It may decrease the risk of preeclampsia, the severity of low back pain, risk of urinary incontinence, postpartum recovery time, and is shown to reduce the risk of caesarean delivery.
These are just some of the physical benefits, not to mention preventing or improving symptoms of depression during and after pregnancy!
So, what was your training like before becoming pregnant?
If you were training at a moderate to high intensity before becoming pregnant, then you can continue this training provided there are no health concerns.
If you are just starting exercise now you’re pregnant, then it is best at low to moderate intensity throughout. Make sure you are cleared by your doctor before starting any exercise programme!
What exercise should I do?
If you’ve been strength training and running before becoming pregnant, this can be continued.
Low impact activities like walking and swimming, modified yoga and Pilates can also be continued or started slowly.
It’s best to avoid contact sports like boxing, rugby or football, any activities with a risk of falling like skiing/snowboarding, gymnastics or horse riding, and exercise in high temperatures like hot yoga.
When do you stop?
If you start to experience any pain whilst exercising, you should stop straight away. If there’s any dizziness, headaches, calf pain, chest pains or shortness of breath, it is best to speak to a doctor or midwife.
All in all, exercising whilst pregnant is awesome! For you and your baby.
Make sure you get the proper guidance from health and fitness professionals before going straight into it, but go for it!
Written by Emily Law, Optimise Health & Fitness