Can you exercise when pregnant? 1 Jun
Exercise and pregnancy can often be seen as two things that shouldn’t go together. Is it really safe to exercise when you are pregnant? How far can you go without hurting yourself or injuring your baby?
The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help you to cope with labour and get back into shape after the birth.
Keep up your normal daily physical activity or exercise (sport, running, yoga, dancing, or even walking to the shops and back) for as long as you feel comfortable.
Exercise is not dangerous for your baby – there is some evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour.
If you weren’t active before you got pregnant, don’t suddenly take up strenuous exercise. If you start an aerobic exercise programme (such as running, swimming, cycling, walking or aerobics classes), tell the instructor that you’re pregnant and begin with no more than 15 minutes of continuous exercise, three times a week. Increase this gradually to at least four 30-minute sessions a week.
Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial
There are some great ways you can exercise that will help you stay fit and healthy during your pregnancy. With all of these exercises make sure you have been signed off by your Doctor/Midwife and always have a chat with your instructor before the start of a class.
Always keep hydrated! Whenever you start to feel a little thirsty make sure you keep drinking water and have a few snacks ready for after the workout.
Swimming is a great and easy way to exercise when pregnant. If you want to regularly exercise, swimming is great as it helps you keep fit and can also help support your extra weight which can really help in your third trimester. Swimming can help with fatigue, all kinds of aches and pains, plus it reduces swelling, improves circulation and so much more!
This mega popular dance based workout can be high impact, but it allows for adjustments to accommodate a growing belly and changing body.
Do check in with your Zumba instructor, they will show you modifications to the usual moves
With many workouts feeling a bit dull, this class can really help lift your spirits during pregnancy.
Cycling is an excellent, low impact exercise for pregnant women and if you enjoy cycling on a stationary machine in a gym, or participating in a spinning class, don’t feel you need to give up now you’re pregnant.
If you’re not used to riding a bike, joining a spinning class offers all the exercise benefits of cycling during pregnancy without worrying about road hazards or wet weather.
Joining a spinning class when pregnant has other advantages too! It’s easier to maintain your balance on a stationary bike as your bump gets bigger; there’s an instructor available to provide help and advice during your pregnancy exercise session and best of all, there’s no chance that you’ll suddenly realise you’ve cycled too far and you’re much too tired to cycle back home!
Pilates is another low-impact exercise that can really help you when pregnant. Like swimming, it can help with your aches and pains throughout your pregnancy. Pilates helps strengthen your core muscles, this helps with carrying the extra weight of your baby and can help with preparing you for childbirth and the recovery after! Avoid exercises where you lie on your back as it can cause low blood pressure and dizziness and could lead to harming your baby.
Yoga can be really beneficial for when you are pregnant! Yoga can help relax you and help you adjust to pregnancy; it calms you and helps relieve physical and emotional stress. Make sure not to push yourself when in this class, yoga is there to help you relax and so with balance and back exercises remember to make sure they can’t harm you in any way. Some easy-to-do poses include butterfly stretch, cat-cow, seated forward bend, triangle pose and don’t be scared to use a chair for any of the positions you could fall with.
You can always exercise at home and find ways to strengthen key areas in pregnancy. The NHS website has so many different options to help you exercise at home and top tips for when you’re exercising!
And remember, once your baby has been born then it’s never too early to get them started with swimming lessons! Our adult and child sessions are the perfect introduction to the water for them, and as you get in the pool too, they’re also great for mummy-baby bonding. We also offer post-natal spin classes in some of our centres too! Find out more here!