Exercising when pregnant

Continuing or adopting exercise during pregnancy has many benefits to both mother and child.

However, the % of pregnant woman who meet physical activity recommendations is low. This is partially due to confusion about recommendations and fear of causing harm. But there is now strong evidence that exercise is beneficial and induces no further risk of premature births, low birthing weight or fetal distress.

additionally, an unhealthy lifestyle during pregnancy can lead to:

– Excessive weight gain
– Gestational diabetes
– Caesarean section
– Lower back pain
– Incontinence
Being physically active reduces your risk of all of the above

Recommendations:

DO:
Aerobic and strength exercises 3-4 days per week
Keep exercise moderate (this requires monitoring throughout session)

AVOID:
Strenuous exercise above 90% HR (can reduce blood flow to the uterus which may compromise fetal health)
Strenuous resistance training, isometric contractions, jumping, impact, exercises with high risk of falling or over stretching

Note: Exercise such as yoga and Pilates do not offer the same physiological benefits but they can of course still be enjoyed by pregnant women although avoid over stretching and certain spine positions.

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