Exercising during your pregnancy is great! During pregnancy, your body undergoes A LOT of changes. Not only does exercise improve general well being but it also helps manage some of these changes. Research has shown regular exercise can help prevent excess weight gain during pregnancy, control blood glucose levels (reducing risk of gestational diabetes) and reduce your risk for preeclampsia (just to name a few).
Benefits of Exercise during your Pregnancy - Why should I exercise?
Here are some more benefits!
Exercise Guidelines - How often should I exercise?
This really depends on what your starting point is! Have you been exercising regularly leading up to your pregnancy or are you completely new to it?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) guidelines state ‘an exercise program that leads to an eventual goal of moderate-intensity exercise for at least 20-30 mins per day on most if not all days of the week’. If you have just started to exercise in pregnancy, it is recommended that you gradually build up to this. For example, this might mean starting at 15-20 mins on non-consecutive days initially. You can do the “talk test” to gauge “moderate intensity”, you should be able to have a conversation with someone whilst doing exercise.
Women are encouraged to get into some type of exercise during pregnancy, even if they have never exercised prior pregnancy. If this is you, it is best you commence your exercise journey under the guidance of a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist who is trained in Women’s Health. If you have been exercising prior pregnancy, we do advise seeing the mentioned health professions to go through a thorough evaluation of your current program to make sure it is appropriate.
Recommended exercise - What’s the best exercise?
There isn’t a one fits all approach. Find an exercise that has a strength, flexibility and aerobic component, something you find fun and convenient for you. Some great forms of exercise when pregnant are:
Cautions for Exercise during Pregnancy
While most forms of exercise are safe, there are some exercises that involve positions and movements that may be uncomfortable or harmful for pregnant women. Be guided by your Physiotherapist/ Exercise Physiologist, but general cautions include:
Most women are encouraged to participate in exercise/ physical activity throughout pregnancy. However, there are some women who have conditions or circumstances that may need to be considered before they start an exercise program. I recommend that the next review you have with your GP or obstetrician, ask - “Do I have any medical issues that would affect me participating in exercise?
If you have any questions, or you would like to have more guidance with your pregnancy journey please feel free to contact us at Movement 101.
Physiotherapist & Accredited Exercise Physiologist
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