One popular question asked by ladies who are pregnant or are considering to be is “can I still exercise? If yes, what are the kinds of exercises that I can do?” Consequently, this is article will seek to address the issue on how a women can remain active and fit even though she is pregnant.
How active can I be?
Assuming that she is experiencing a normal pregnancy, she can definitely go about doing the usual exercises that she is used to doing. If you have been gym exercises on a regular basis, you can continue doing it, just make sure to monitor on the weights that you are lifting. The advice is to go lighter and increase your repetitions.
A good alternative to take it to consider going for Pilates. The Pilates instructor can always tailor the sessions to meet your fitness standards. Remaining active is important as it can help you to get your post baby figure back quicker after the birth process.
What is safe/unsafe?
During the start of the pregnancy, it is safe to carry on as per normal as most women do not feel affected at all even during the start of the pregnancy stage. After the first trimester, it is safer not to lift too heavy objects or even do too much high impact exercises, this will depend again on what you are used to doing and what your physio/doctor advises based on your current state.
If you are experiencing strains or muscle pains due to sports, you can always consult a specialist that is able to offer you a comprehensive sports massage treatment.
When should a pregnant woman stop exercising?
Many would think that a pregnant women should stop exercising when her tummy is growing too big out of proportion. However, it is actually healthy for a pregnant women to continue exercising until her baby is born. It all depends on her current physical condition.
High intense classes may cause some discomfort to some, and if it does, it is recommended that she should switch to other exercises such as swimming, yoga, or even aqua aerobics. Walking is also a good cardio vascular exercise that pregnant women can consider. Try not to go about cycling, because when your tummy get bigger, it might affect your balance and you risk falling. If you are adamant about cycling, you can always get on a stationary bike in the gym.
Should an inactive woman begin exercising when pregnant?
Yes, it is never too late to start. Pilates with a trained physio or qualified Pilates instructor would benefit an unfit pregnant lady. It would decrease the chances of lumbar pain, it will also help her to recover from her pregnancy. She can also easily take up walking or swimming. Just remember to pace yourself.
What are the benefits of a physically active lifestyle before falling pregnant?
The benefits of a physically active lifestyle before pregnancy assures a healthier mother and baby. You also reduce the chances of putting on weight and there will be less strain on the joints. The mother will bounce back to her pre-pregnancy body a lot quicker if she has an active lifestyle before.
Is there any benefit to antenatal exercise?
Yes, ante natal exercises will teach the woman to keep a good posture, how to exercise her core muscles as well as the all important pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor muscles are extremely important to prevent leakage later on in life.
When should I stop high-cardio workouts?
A rule of thumb is: after 6 to 7 months, you will start to feel pressure on the pelvic floor area when you bounce around and your core temperature is also likely to go too high in these kind of exercises. Therefore, stop high cardio workouts as soon as you start to feel uncomfortable doing it. This also depends on how big your baby is.
Tips for safe exercising when pregnant
- First and most importantly: listen to your body
- Don’t increase your exercise to more than what you are used to.
- Keep an eye on your core temperature, you don’t want to elevate it too much.
- If it feels uncomfortable, don’t do it.
- If you don’t feel like exercise on a day, don’t.
- If you leak or have spotting – stop and see your doctor.
- After the second trimester, don’t do exercises lying on your back.
I do hope this answers some of your concerns, remember you are pregnant and not sick. Enjoy it and enjoy the endorphins you will release if you exercise. Do you have more questions about your body? Or need help to be active again? Consult our experts who are experienced in physiotherapy in Singapore and we will be more than happy to help you out.