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Exercising While Pregnant – How to Safely Stay Fit

Having a baby is tough! With the increased demands on your body, it can be difficult to know how much physical exercise you can get away with. That’s why we’ve put together a quick guide to help you stay fit and healthy during your pregnancy.

When you’re pregnant, your body undergoes significant changes, including loosened joints (increased laxity), shifts to your centre of gravity and an increased resting heart rate. It’s particularly important to make sure you’re avoiding injury by exercising correctly during this time.

During pregnancy, physical activity can work to alleviate back pain, improve and maintain muscle tone, reduce muscle cramps and swelling, improve your mood as well as your sleeping patterns. Here are some tips from us to you that will help you put your best foot forward.

1) Consider how active you were before pregnancy

If you were relatively active, many exercises are suitable to continue with – just be sensible and mindful of how your body feels. Particularly strenuous, high intensity workouts can stress your joints and pelvic floor muscles, so it’s best to stick to less impacting routines. If you weren’t particularly active before your pregnancy, low impact, moderate exercises are great to keep you moving.

Try the following workouts and stick to sessions lasting between 30 minutes to 60 minutes:

  • Walking
  • Stretching and yoga
  • Jogging (if doing regularly before pregnancy)
  • Cycling on a stationary bike
  • Exercise classes for pregnant mums.

2) Stop exercising if it doesn’t feel right

As mentioned, keep an eye on how you’re feeling during your workout sessions.

The rule to keep in mind here is to partake in physical activity that doesn’t exhaust you. Always listen to your body and take breaks as you need – nothing should hurt. Lastly, make sure you’re warming up and cooling down properly before and after each session. If you start to experience any of the following symptoms, stop your workout immediately:

  • Abdominal, leg, chest or pelvic pain
  • Vaginal bleeding or a sudden release of fluid
  • Decreases in your baby’s usual range of movement
  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness
  • Muscular weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Shortness of breath after little or no exertion
  • Random fatigue
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Painful contractions

3) Consult your physiotherapist

Before you start any fitness regime, make sure you consult a physiotherapist to help you avoid injury. Discuss any problems or discomforts you have and devise a plan best suited to you. From there, allow your physio to take you through the correct techniques and movements of your personalised fitness regime where required.

4) Have fun!

Ultimately, exercise is meant to make you feel happier and healthier so don’t overwhelm yourself with a rigid commitment to keeping fit. Relax and enjoy your workouts and the benefits they bring to your pregnancy.

Physical activity can improve your mental and physical wellbeing while pregnant. Once your physiotherapist approves your routine you’re good to go! Just make sure you’re not pushing your body to its limits.

Want to make sure you and your bub are getting the most out of your workouts? Book an appointment with us at Fairfield Physiotherapy & Sports Injuries Centre. We’ll devise a plan and guide you through a personalised routine for a happier, healthier pregnancy.