Safe Exercises to Keep You Fit During Pregnancy

Exercise during pregnancy? Yes, please!

Physical Activity Australia advises expecting mums to shoot for the recommended 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, or any combination of the two, per week.

So don’t cancel your gym membership just yet – Solidea is here to help you live a full and active lifestyle throughout your pregnancy.

Is it safe to exercise while expecting?

Generally speaking, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t exercise during a normal and healthy pregnancy, which means that you’re set for a complication-free delivery that requires little to no intervention.
In fact, there are many reasons to exercise while pregnant:

  • It keeps you physically and mentally healthy
  • It helps you sleep better
  • It helps you manage stress
  • It eases common pregnancy-related discomforts like back pain
  • It helps you gain just the right amount of weight during your pregnancy
  • It helps you get your body ready for labour – prenatal yoga, for example, helps you practice breathing and relaxation methods that allow you to better manage pain during childbirth
  • Talk to your GP about physical activity during your first antenatal checkup to get cleared for exercise.

    Although there are no known risks to pregnant women, it’s still better to consult with your physiotherapist before diving headfirst into a fitness plan – bodily changes that affect your sense of balance and resting heart rate, for instance, may require you to make some adjustments.

    Which exercises are safe?

    Light to moderate-intensity exercises are typically safe during pregnancy:?

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Yoga
  • Low-impact aerobics
  • Stationary biking
  • Medical News Today also recommends doing squats and pelvic tilts to get your body ready for childbirth. These exercises may help open the pelvis, strengthen the abdominal muscles, and reduce back pain in time for labour.

    How to exercise safely while expecting

  • Do your warm-ups prior and don’t forget to cool down after each session
  • Let the instructor know you’re pregnant so they can advise you on modifications for strenuous workouts
  • Choose lighter weights
  • Stay hydrated
  • Stop immediately if you feel dizzy or experience shortness of breath, muscle weakness, deep pelvic pain, or contractions
  • Work at less than 75% of your maximum heart rate
  • Don’t let your body temperature get too high (i.e. doing hot yoga, soaking in hot tubs, or exercising to the point of excessive sweating on particularly hot or humid days)
  • But most importantly, listen to your body – if you don’t feel like exercising on a given day or if you’re feeling ill or feverish, make plans to go on a different day

    Which exercises should you avoid?

    As a general rule, avoid any activity that may cause you to fall, such as:

  • Gymnastics
  • Skating
  • Downhill skiing
  • Horseback riding
  • Off-road cycling
  • Surfing
  • The same goes for activity in where you can potentially get hit in the belly, such as martial arts or competitive sports.

    Avoid any exercise that requires you to lie flat on your back (i.e. sit-ups) past the third month of pregnancy as this can cause a drop in blood pressure and restrict the flow of blood to your baby.

    Scuba diving, in particular, can cause decompression sickness, where gas bubbles form in the baby’s body and cause harm.

    Women with existing conditions like gestational hypertension (very high blood pressure) or placenta praevia (where the baby’s placenta covers all or part of the cervix) are usually not encouraged to exercise during pregnancy.

    Other conditions where exercise during pregnancy is discouraged include:

  • Severe anemia
  • Diagnosed heart or lung conditions
  • Being pregnant with twins, triplets, or multiples (though light exercise may be allowed in certain circumstances)
  • Pre-term labour, where you experience bleeding from the vagina or a ruptured membrane before 37 weeks of pregnancy
  • Cervical insufficiency, where the cervix dilates prematurely without accompanying pain or contractions
  • If you develop an illness or complications while carrying your baby to term, speak with your GP or midwife before continuing your fitness program.

    But as long as you take proper precautions, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t continue to stay active and healthy during pregnancy.

    Solidea is proud to be your partner in this inspiring and life-changing journey. Visit our shop today for a range of medical compression garments to keep you comfortable during pregnancy.

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