Want to have a fit pregnancy? Research suggest that healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies do not need to limit exercise for fear of adverse effects. However exercise is not advisable for some during pregnancy so please talk to a health professional first. Activities that’s are overly vigorous and have a high potential for falling or abdominal trauma should be avoided. Exercises that require a high degree of balance and agility should be avoided especially in late stages of pregnancy
For all healthy pregnant women wanting to exercise a few guidelines. (Experienced and new people new to exercise
- You can workout 3-5 per week (no more than this mummy you need your rest) As you progress to late pregnancy you may want to reduce 3-4 sessions per week
- Intensity should be light to somewhat hard (don’t go crazy ladies)
- If you didn’t exercise before pregnancy please keep all exercises light
- Always included warm up and cool downs with stretches to limber up joints at beginning and end.
A few question I’ve been asked…
What am I allowed to do?
OK yummy mummies to be here’s the 411. If the doctor has given you a clean bill of health and the OK to exercise its absolutely fine go right ahead. Most pregnant women usually can continue most activities during pregnancy by using common sense and making appropriate modifications based on how you feel, symptoms you display and joint laxity. This does not mean take up a new sport or exercise you have never done before. If you did the activity before its fine to continue although bear in mind you will need to make modifications as you progress. If you haven’t really worked out before but you’re healthy and a doctor has given you the all clear, then start off with a basic light program. If you are in the 1st trimester it’s fine to do exercises on your back and crunches if you so wish. So it’s largely based on how you feel and common sense e.g if you’re a runner maybe try running on a treadmill or if you are a cyclist use a stationary bike to minimise the risk of falling and outside conditions beyond your control. Or a lifter would use seated leg extensions to work the quads instead of squats if that’s uncomfortable.
Can I lift weights whilst pregnant?’
The answer is…YES, now if you’re new to resistance training now is not the time to start practicing your best clean and jerk and making PB’s on squats and leg presses though.
Here are some basics for the yummy mummies to be that want to start adding a resistance workout to their routine.
- Think about training all the major muscle groups. Legs chest back shoulders etc maybe pick about 8-10 exercises. You can do this as full body session or split into lower body upper body etcWith full body sessions train each muscle group 2-3 time a week with sufficient rest days in between each workout to allow for recovery
- 1-3 sets of each exercise allow enough rest between each set to recovery
- Rep range 12-15
- Try and keep your workout under an hour including warm up and cool down. For experienced lifters you probably already aware you can pretty much carry on as normal making modifications as you progress, decreasing the weight etc. When doing resistance training…
ALWAYS use correct form and lift weight in a slow controlled manner
NEVER Hold your breath when performing any exercise
DON’T perform exercises to complete exhausting
What are about squats or lunges??
As you progress in your pregnancy squats are fine to continue with but be careful of the load. Lunges/squats etc can become difficult due to a loss in centre of gravity and joint flexibility etc.
Here are a few examples of when to STOP exercising if you are working out whilst pregnant.
- Severe headaches
- Floaters-lights or floaters in front of your eyes
- Shortness of breath prior to exertion
- Palpitations- extreme fatigue or chest pain
- If you aren’t gaining weight in your pregnancy
- Unusual abdominal pain
- Increased blood pressure
- Persistent contractions
- Sudden swelling
- Inflamed calves
These are just some of the signs where you should stop exercising. If at any time you don’t feel well/right or you feel something is wrong during exercise stop and talk to a health professional.
Things to remember during a fit pregnancy….
ALWAYS workout in a well-ventilated room keep well hydrated to prevent overheating of you and baby. Pay attention to your heart rate with a monitor or using talk test. That being said if you’re worried and you’re a new mummy to be don’t feel pressured to workout just because other expectant mothers are and it’s in fashion. Do what’s right for you take a healthy approach to pregnancy in general.
FYI… Please note if you follow us on our fitness journey and seen some of my pregnancy workouts. I am an experienced exerciser and I know what I am doing. Any exercises you see me do that looks out of the ordinary please to do not try yourself unless you are experienced or have guidance of a fitness professional with you. I to would love to try new activities myself whilst pregnant but as I have never done them before this is not the time to start.
So ladies what are you waiting for? Get active today!
Check out Weight training during pregnancy post
A few question I’ve been asked during my fit pregnancy…
‘How soon after delivery can I start exercising?’
The general advice for women to exercise is 6 weeks after birth after your postnatal check-up and all is clear with the doctor.
However if you have had a normal and uncomplicated birth you don’t have to wait that long to start some light exercise.
Suitable exercises you can start with as soon as 24 hours after if you feel well and comfortable to do so is abdominal and pelvic floor exercises. So get to them Kegal exercises and belly breathing ladies.
Now by ab exercises I don’t mean start doing a whole bunch of crunches this will only exacerbate the issue and will only make the diastasis worse which is common in pregnancy.
If you want to do a little more than just core exercises you can begin with gentle walking and increase the intensity from there.
Don’t worry if you’re not up to it your body has just undergone a big transformation in your body for 9 months and put in some hard work during the birth. You will need mental time to recover and for you and baba to get into a routine.
Personally in my first pregnancy, I had no desire to make it a fit one and didn’t feel ready to exercise until 8 months after. Everyone is different so take it easy and take your time and ease yourself back in at your own pace.
If you have had C-section providing you feel well you can also perform these light exercises but if you’re unsure please check with your health professional first.
****note****The more difficult exercises like planks and should be left until a few weeks later when you’re feeling stronger waiting at least 6 weeks is advisable as your tummy is still adjusting issues may arise where the placenta was.