5 things every pregnant woman needs to know about exercise.

We asked the experts.

Along with large nipples and, erm, more gas, pregnancy also brings on the fear of hurting that little human you’re carrying, particularly when it comes to getting your dose of fitness.

The good news is, being pregnant doesn’t mean you have to give up your exercise routine, but there are a few things you need to consider.

1. It’s about feeling good not losing weight

The most important thing to keep in mind is that pregnancy is not a time to lose weight or start any intense exercise regimes.

“Pregnancy is a time to focus on your health and wellness rather than your fitness,” says personal trainer, Kristy Curtis. “While it is important to keep the body moving while pregnant, it is not a time to introduce new activities or suddenly take up that dance class you have always wanted to do.”

So while power walking with your mate might be great, maybe steer clear of that pump class.

“So while power walking with your mate might be great, maybe steer clear of that pump class.” Image via iStock.

2. Take it easy

“If there are no pregnancy complications, it is still possible for a regular gym attendee to keep exercising at the same rate initially, but it is always important to consider the safety of yourself and your baby before taking part in any strenuous activities,” says Fernwood Fitness Expert, Genevieve Brock.


Heavy weight training, high impact sports or anything that requires over exertion could potentially be dangerous for pregnant women and should be avoided, Brock says.

Curtis recommends low impact activities like swimming and walking, and focusing on strength and posture rather than cardio exercise.

3. Keep hydrated and cool

“Pregnant women can overheat very quickly which in some cases can cause dizziness and fainting,” says Kristy Curtis. “Remember to keep hydrated and cool.”

She also suggests positioning yourself by fans or near doors and windows, and avoiding outdoor exercises during the hottest part of the day.

Aim for an extra litre of water for every hour of exercise you participate in.

“Aim for an extra litre of water for every hour of exercise you participate in.”

4. Stay upright

Avoid exercises that require you to lie flat on your back, as this can restrict the blood that flows through to the placenta.

If you are doing a workout that requires you to lie down, Curtis advises propping up a bench or a step platform so that one end is higher than the other.

Likewise, avoid unstable surfaces that may unbalance you due to the shift in your centre of gravity.

5. Safety first

During pregnancy a woman’s body requires more blood, which requires a more rapid heart beat.

“The amount of blood pumped through the heart increases by 30 to 50 per cent which raises your normal heart rate from 70 bpm to 80 or 90 bpm,” explains Curtis.

If you’re particularly concerned about the affect that exercise might have on your body and baby, Curtis suggests trying to wear a heart monitor.

“Aim to keep your heart rate below 150 bpm,” she says.

Work out with a friend, partner or trainer who can always ensure you’re OK. Chat to your doctor about how, as an individual, you should exercise while pregnant.

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The post was originally published on The Glow

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