On a female’s journey during pregnancy, moments of excitement and instinct are experienced, however the new change can bring aboard questions relating to physical exercise. Most women have questions surrounding when, how and why to exercise when pregnant. Regular physical exercise during pregnancy has major health benefits and is helpful when preparing for labor and recovery.
It is important to understand where your activity levels were before falling pregnant. It is recommended to be active everyday, yet activity and movements need to be modified and suitable for your personal fitness abilities. Over exercising until exhaustion is not the aim, light, moderate exercise is best suited for daily participation, unless you feel comfortable doing higher intensity exercises.
A low to moderate exercise example includes, a brisk walk, yoga class or water aerobics. It is recommended 2 ½ – 5 hours a week. (30-60 minutes per day). If higher intensity workouts are more suitable for example, running or a HIIt workout then it is recommended 1 ¼ – 2 ½ hours a week. (15 to 30 minutes most days)
Muscle strengthening activities are recommended to be carried out at least 2 days each week. This includes all strengthening activities such as, light resistance training and bodyweight exercises are all beneficial. The goal is to slowly build up to the recommended daily amount.
Signs that you need to stop exercising and should see your doctor or midwife immediately include:
- Chest pain
- Unexplained shortness of breath
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Muscle weakness
- Calf pain, swelling or redness
- Sudden swelling of ankles, hands or face
- Vaginal bleeding
- Nausea and vomiting
Remember to consult your Maternity Team or GP for further questions and recommendations relating to Pregnancy and exercise.