If you regularly exercised prior to becoming pregnant, it is beneficial for you and your baby to continue exercising at a safe level until birth. With this is mind, here are 10 tips for exercising during pregnancy from Chartered Physiotherapist Claire Cason.
10 TIPS FOR EXERCISING DURING PREGNANCY
- Discuss with a member of your obstetric team before continuing with an existing exercise regime.
- Women who exercised prior to pregnancy should be able to engage in high intensity exercise with caution and only when it is medically safe to do so.
- Aim for low impact activity (3 times a week for 30 minutes) in order to maintain aerobic capacity.
- If you experience any new symptoms while exercising during pregnancy, you should contact your GP or obstetric team.
- Pelvic floor training is very important throughout your pregnancy and during the first three months after giving birth. This will limit the risk of incontinence and pelvic girdle pain. Aim to start with 10 seconds contractions with 10 repetitions.
- Positioning is also important. Avoid exercises lying down on your back such as sit ups or bridges during the second and third trimester.
- Pilates-based exercises on a gym ball, side lying and on all fours are effective. Exercises on all fours can encourage the baby to turn optimally for labour.
- Avoiding overusing the abdominal muscles against resistance to reduce the risk of diastasis rectus abdominis (DRA). For example: when getting out of bed, turn onto your side and use your hands to push yourself up into a sitting position.
- Key exercise focus should be on keeping your lower back mobile, gluteal function and overall muscle strength.
- Remember to finish exercise with stretching of the major muscle groups, particularly the hamstrings, hip flexors, gluteals and quadriceps.
BEFORE EXERCISING DURING PREGNANCY
If you haven’t exercised before, you should only commence after 12-13 weeks and check with a medical professional before starting.
EXERCISING DURING PREGNANCY: YOGA AND PILATES
At The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy, we run several Pregnancy Yoga and Pilates classes throughout the week in conjunction with Yoga Mama Wellness. Consult their class timetable to see when classes run. Class passes and drop in places are available to book online.
ABOUT CLAIRE CASON
Claire Cason is a Physiotherapist at The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy. She graduated with a degree in Sport Rehabilitation in 2011. After this, she completed her Master’s Degree in Physiotherapy at the University of Southampton in 2014. She has a keen interest in learning and study. As a consequence, she is intending to undertake a course in advanced neuromusculoskeletal sciences in the near future. Read Claire’s full bio here >>