EXERCISE DURING PREGNANCY
How do you get the right balance when pregnant?
Regular exercise is essential to maintaining the increased demands on your joints, muscles heart and lungs throughout pregnancy. Everyone is so different each person’s abilities will vary at different stages of their pregnancy so there is not really a “cookie cutter” formula for exercise during this period of time.
How do I measure the right amount of intensity while exercising?
A good little tip is to ensure that you are able to comfortably talk and hold a conversation while exercising. Do not participate in any exercise that requires you to hold your breath. You should be able to freely breathe throughout all exercises during pregnancy (including pelvic floor exercises). Have a rest during exercise if you feel that you need one. Work at your own pace and definitely do not compete if you are in a class situation. The intensity level you work at should feel between something you would consider “light” and “somewhat hard”. Monitoring the intensity is a good way to also ensure that you do not overheat during exercise and to reduce your risk of injury.
What are some tips for pregnancy exercise?
- Do your pelvic floor exercises – these are so important for women. Make sure to exercise these muscles before, during and after pregnancy.
- Maintain a neutral spine and posture- if you have difficulty finding a neutral position please get in touch and we can help you with that. This will help reduce additional stress on your back and muscles when pregnant and also when exercising.
- Know the effects of pregnancy hormones on your body- you will experience hormonal changes that will soften your joints and ligaments. This can increase your risk of injury during pregnancy.
- Make sure you are wearing a supportive bra during exercise- also check your swimwear if you are doing any water activities as well.
- Monitor your intensity levels when exercising- we discussed how you could measure the right intensity earlier.
- Make sure you eat 1-2 hours before your exercise- your blood sugar levels will fluctuate quite quickly during pregnancy. Another great tip is to bring juice with you if you feel faint or dizzy.
Are there any suggested exercises during pregnancy?
Provided there are no complications, here are some examples
Low impact aerobics
Pregnancy exercise classes
Cycling on a stationary bike
Swimming (reduce breaststroke at the third trimester)