For most mums-to-be, it’s perfectly safe to keep exercising and enjoying working out. Staying fit and healthy has some great benefits for both you and baby, and could mean you’re less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour, too. It is safe to exercise when pregnant as long as you have the go-ahead from your medical team. UK government guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise with two muscle strengthening sessions a week during pregnancy. Muscle strengthening could be with weights, using own bodyweight or resistance bands. Muscle strengthening also includes pelvic floor exercises!
It’s likely you’ll need to lower the intensity and make adjustments throughout your pregnancy, but if you’re feeling good you could still be exercising right up until the day you give birth. Exercising can make you feel good, help reduce stress and boost self-esteem, as well as helping to manage weight during pregnancy and aiding sleep at night.
Types of exercise that are considered safe and beneficial in pregnancy:
• Stationary cycling
• Low-impact aerobics
• Pregnancy Yoga
• Pregnancy Pilates
• Strength training
There are some sports and work out classes to avoid too:
• Contact sports, such as kickboxing, football and basketball
• Altitude training
• Sports with a high risk of falling, such as downhill skiing, off-road cycling and surfing
• Weighted sit-ups and abdominal rotation machines
• Hot yoga and exercising in extreme heat
Even before you inform your family, having a private word with your exercise instructor to tell them you’re pregnant and how many weeks you are is very important. They’ll then be able to let you know if their class is safe during pregnancy, if they’re qualified to instruct you at this time and offer alternatives or modifications for any unsuitable exercises.
During your first trimester you may feel tired and nauseous. Your blood pressure decreases, which can leave you feeling faint, the volume of blood being pumped by your heart increases, which can lead to a rapid heart rate, and exercise might well be the last thing on your mind. By the second trimester you may well be feeling better and the morning sickness will have lessened. This is the time i usually feel able to enjoy working out again, however this pregnancy has been very different. After Seth had his accident I did t feel up to working out so have tried to go for a walk most days and do at home Pilates when possible. In the third trimester, the growing bump may make exercising awkward and carrying the extra weight can be tiring. Swimming has helped me, and taking Seth to classes has also helped his leg heal.
Remember, keeping moving is beneficial and any kind of movement during pregnancy is enough. Your growing a tiny human after all!
Much love Rebecca