Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?

Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?

Many women ask their healthcare providers if it’s safe to exercise during pregnancy. Assuming you are a having a healthy pregnancy, light exercise won’t harm the baby, and it could actually make the pregnancy and birth easier for you. Exercise will keep you fit, and allow you to better adjust to your changing body throughout the pregnancy. Keeping fit will also help to prepare you for the birth itself.

Having said that, there are certain activities you will want to avoid. Contact sports and extreme sports, for instance, are not advisable for pregnant women due to the risks of falling or being hit.

Safe exercise during pregnancy:

Many pregnant women choose to continue, or start, swimming during the first trimester and continue until the end of the pregnancy. The water supports the weight of your bump, so you will find it relatively easy to glide through the water. You could choose to swim lengths, or your local pool may offer aquanatal classes that you could attend. Not only is this a great way to exercise, you’ll also meet other soon to be mums in your local area.

Jogging or running
If you were a keen runner or jogger before the pregnancy, then you are fine to continue this activity. You may want to tailor your runs to fit with your pregnancy, for example shortening the distance or slowing down the pace of the runs as your pregnancy progresses. If you didn’t run or jog before the pregnancy, then you should try walking during pregnancy instead as this will put less strain on your body.

Walking is a great way to keep fit during pregnancy. It shouldn’t put too much strain on your changing body, but will help to keep you active. Why not build a half hour walk into your daily routine, this could be as simple as getting off the bus a few stops early on your commute to work.

Yoga or pilates
Both of these exercises are very popular with pregnant women, and there are many prenatal classes on offer across the country. Yoga and pilates focus on flexibility and muscle strength. Both exercises also focus on relaxation and breathing techniques that will be great to utilise during labour. If you are taking a class such as yoga or pilates, always tell the instructor that you are pregnant as this will allow them to alter activities for you.

You may find that as the pregnancy progresses, you need to reduce the amount of exercise you take because you feel tired more easily. Listen to your body, and don’t try to overexert yourself. Don’t overdo it. Monitor your breathing. As long as you can still talk and not run out of breath, you’re probably doing the exercise at the right intensity. Be sure to drink plenty of water while you exercise, and stop exercising if you start to feel faint. If you are a high risk pregnancy, please speak to your healthcare provider before starting an exercise regimen.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.