For many active women, maintaining a regular exercise regime while expecting is a top priority. When faced with a constant stream of conflicting advice – via fitness identities on social media, experts on TV or your seemingly knowledgable next door neighbour – it can be overwhelming to decipher exactly what is and isn’t safe during this important time.
Today, we zone in on a topic that affects women every day, and we explore the best approach to staying active with a bump!
Maintaining your fitness after you fall pregnant can not only positively affect your experience of the pregnancy, but how your body copes with labour and the aftermath. Regular, low-to-moderate intensity exercise (around 30 minutes a day), can reduce pregnancy-related back pain, improve mood and energy levels, and ensure a better night’s rest.
Staying active during pregnancy can strengthen targeted muscles required during labour – potentially assisting you during this intensely demanding experience. Plus, if you maintain your fitness throughout your pregnancy, your body has a much better chance of bouncing back after the baby arrives.
The main rules around exercising while pregnant are to stick to low-to-moderate intensity workouts that limit the risk of injury to yourself and the baby and that don’t take a significant toll on your body. Maintain a similar overall fitness level to what you experienced before falling pregnant; now's not the time to begin your intense training to achieve those lifelong fitness goals!
Ensure that there isn’t too much bouncing or jarring movement; think exercises that are low impact and not too intense. Some great options to consider include:
Remember: Personal trainers are knowledgeable about the kinds of exercise to avoid during pregnancy; PT sessions at your local gym are a great starting point to get you on the right track.
It’s important to remember that you should avoid any exercises that require you to be flat on your back. They can place strain on one of the major veins, potentially limiting blood flow to the baby and parts of your own body.
Avoid exercising in very hot weather. Remember, you don’t want to place too much stress on your body. Opt for smaller movements in an air-conditioned room, and make sure that you stay hydrated.
Always listen to your body! If you suffer any dizziness, loss of breath or other abnormal symptoms, stop exercising immediately and speak to your health professional.
We’d love to hear what your pregnancy fitness regime looks like! What kind of exercise makes a regular appearance in your weekly workout program?
Please note: Vuly recommends speaking to your health professional before embarking on any kind of exercise regime whilst pregnant.