Exercise During Pregnancy
A pregnant woman recently asked me what exercise, if any, she should be doing!
I have never been pregnant (Captain Obvious here!) and would certainly not claim to be an expert when it comes to carrying a baby!
However, as a qualified personal trainer and health & fitness professional I did feel I could offer some useful advise to her in this area.
It is without doubt that regular exercise during pregnancy can reduce the risk of excess weight gain, improve health and reduce the risk or severity of back pain.
It may also have a positive effect on the difficulty of the child birth process!
Below are the exercises I would generally recommend with regard to exercising when pregnant.
However, it should be noted it is also very important you listen to your body and the medical advise you are given at all times.
The following physical activities carry little risk of injury, are of benefit to your whole body, and can be performed almost right up to the delivery date!
A great way to exercise when pregnant is a quick brisk stroll.
Start short if you need and build to longer distances.
Always make sure someone knows where you are, have a phone with you and ideally walk with a friend or partner.
Walking will provide a cardio workout with limited impact on the knees and ankles, which can be quite susceptible during pregnancy.
It’s free to do and can be performed at any time or place.
Cycling or spinning on a stationary bike should normally be safe for pregnant exercisers, even if they are new to it.
It is great for raising the heart rate without placing too much stress and impact on the joints and limbs.
The bike takes much of the body weight load, and because the bike is in a stationary position, and secure, there is very little risk of falling off.
Swimming and exercising in water will give a better range of motion without putting excessive pressure on the joints.
The buoyancy the water provides will offer extra relief from your increased body weight.
Alongside swimming there are a whole host of water based exercises which offer the similar buoyancy benefits including walking in water and aqua aerobics.
Yoga classes, particularly the pre-natal classes, are designed to keep the joints limber and help maintain your bodies flexibility.
There are numerous benefits from yoga such as strengthening of the muscles, increased blood circulation and enhancement of relaxation.
During pregnancy this can promote healthy blood pressure.
If you were training regularly before pregnancy, and are healthy during pregnancy, you should be able to continue exercising as before with just slight amendments and alterations depending on the trimester you are in.
If you have not been exercising prior to pregnancy it would still be a good idea to do so in pregnancy.
However, in such instances the woman should start with a very low-intensity program and gradually build up.
Ideally exercise should be performed most days and in the region of 20-30 minutes per session would be a good start.
As usual, any questions fire them over.
Ian David Worthington | Creator, Owner and Coach at GymWolfPT.com