Simple ways to make sure you exercise safely during pregnancy so you can get the most out of staying active and strong until labour!
Exercise during pregnancy is good for you good for your baby. Read our tips for safe pregnancy exercise:
- Listen to your body if your workout feels too intense, slow down or stop.
- Your ideal heart rate will vary considerably depending on your pre-pregnancy fitness levels, your age and your weight – a better indication is the talk test, don’t exercise so hard you can’t hold a conversation
- Aim to maintain your fitness levels rather than looking for improvement. Don’t feel the need to run that extra mile and expect to decrease the size of your weights it’s better to use lighter weights and aim for more repetitions as your bump gets bigger.
- Warming up and cooling down are key to safe exercise during pregnancy. Aim for a whole body warm up before you start and stretch out after your workout to allow your heart rate to return to normal.
- Stay fuelled. Don’t exercise on an empty stomach and have an energy snack available to keep you fuelled during (or immediately after) your workout.
- Drink plenty of fluid. Small sips of water are best so keep a bottle of water handy.
- Keep cool. Pregnant women can overheat more easily so exercise outdoors or in an air-conditioned room wherever possible and choose suitable moisture-wicking fitnesswear
- Avoid exercises that involve you lying on your back after 12 weeks (earlier if you feel dizzy or nauseous) you can compress your vena cava, which delivers blood directly to your uterus.
- Pressure on your bladder can make vigorous exercise more challenging. Allow for loo breaks and include pelvic floor exercises as part of your daily routine
- Dress comfortably. Choose maternity fitness wear that’s designed to support your bump and breasts, without restricting your movement.
- If you’ve never exercised before, build up slowly but SOME exercise during pregnancy is better than nothing at all
- If you have any concerns about your health or the health of your baby talk to your doctor or midwife. And let your instructor or fitness coach know that you’re pregnant, adapting your routine as necessary.
Keep your pregnancy exercise safe!
- Avoid sports and activities with an increased risk of falling, downhill skiing, hard-core mountain biking or rock climbing for example
- Contact sports (avoiding the risk of injury by some-one else)
- Scuba diving (the underwater pressure on your baby makes this a no no)
- Water skiing (you risk a rush of water internally)
- For safe pregnancy exercise, check with your doctor if you have any of the following:
- Cardiac or lung disease
- Persistent bleeding
- High blood pressure
- Pre-term labour (either this pregnancy or previously)
- Diagnosed weakness in your cervix (IC)
- Expecting twins or amultiple birth
- Placenta praevia after 26 weeks
- Your waters have broken
- Eating disorders (including malnutrition or obesity)
- Limited mobility
- Thyroid disease
- Diabetes mellitus
And stop and contact your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Excessive shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Bleeding or leakage of amniotic fluid
- Pain in the lower back of pelvic area
- Contractions (although some people find gently yoga beneficial)
- Excessive tiredness
- Unusual muscle pain or weakness
- A pain or swelling in your calf (which could indicate a blood clot
Keep your baby bump secure and supported when you exercise. It’s well worth choosing maternity fitwear that works like a sports bra for your bump.