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Is it safe to exercise while pregnant?

Is it safe to exercise while pregnant?

15Feb

It is good idea to keep active during your pregnancy. There are many physical and psychological health benefits to remaining active throughout the duration of your pregnancy. This will help you adapt to your changing shape and weight gain as your pregnancy progresses.

Keeping active during your pregnancy will also keep you in the best physical shape in preparation for your labour. Other benefits of exercise during you pregnancy include weight maintenance, increasing muscle tone, strength and endurance. Research has also shown that exercise may also prevent and treat lower back pain, gestational diabetes and reduce ankle swelling. Evidence also indicates that exercises reduces the risk of complications in late pregnancy and labour.

Here are some tips to keep in mind while exercising while pregnant:

  • If you were not overly active before your pregnancy it is advisable that you do not suddenly take up a strenuous exercise programme. Start by doing 15 minutes of continuous exercise, gradually increasing this to 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week. Remember that exercise does not have to be strenuous to be beneficial.
  • As a general rule, you should be able to hold a conversation while exercising when pregnant. If you become very breathless as you are talking, you are probably exercising too strenuously.
  • As with exercising when you’re not pregnant, ensure you complete a thorough warm-up and cool-down.
  • Avoiding over heating or exercising in very warm temperatures. This also includes exercising in hot water.
  • When exercising be mindful not to lie flat on your back for prolonged periods of time, particularly after 16 weeks. This position may be problematic as the baby’s weight can be pressing on the main blood vessel that brings blood back to your heart and cause you to feel faint.

If you are worried or have any queries regarding exercise during your pregnancy, please contact your physiotherapist or General Practitioner. Your physiotherapist will be able to modify your exercise to suit your needs and capabilities. Moreover, your physiotherapist can help you with pelvic floor and abdominal exercises to promote well-being during your pregnancy. To make a booking with one of our trained physiotherapist please contact the clinic today.

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