Health and Fitness

Gym and Pregnancy

If you’re wondering how staying healthy, going to the gym and pregnancy could possibly go together, you’ve come to the right place. Several women are concerned about their health and weight during and after pregnancy. Weight gain is normal but it doesn’t need to be excessive.

Dr Izzy - Gym and Pregnancy

Back in the day, pregnant women were discouraged from going out in public or doing anything strenuous in “their condition”. I’m here to tell you that there is nothing wrong with being pregnant, it’s a perfectly natural part of life. Many years ago “barefoot and pregnant” was a common phrase, but it’s not common practice these days. In fact, these days it is quite common for women to be more active and work a full-time job well into their third trimester.

Gym and Pregnancy

Maintaining good exercise habits can be a challenge without the added challenges that come with pregnancy. There will be times when you feel lethargic and tired, but it’s hugely beneficial for you to embrace the gym and pregnancy.

If you were active before falling pregnant then it will be easier to continue exercising during pregnancy. If you were not active but now want to go to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle, start slowly. I would recommend swimming or walking and some light weights. Your energy levels will fluctuate during pregnancy, therefore, it’s important to listen to your body.

Dr Izzy - Gym and PregnancyIt is important to keep moving while you’re pregnant. However, you may need to consider altering your exercise routine during pregnancy. Check with your obstetrician or midwife to ensure that they are happy with your choice of exercise. You need to be careful about what type of physical activity you choose to do. Overheating is not good you or the baby, so reframe from activities that will elevate your core temperate. If it’s a warm day you would be better to opt for water activities. Avoid exercises which have a risk of abdominal injury, falling or high-risk sports.

There are more pregnant women than ever before in history, that want to be fit and healthy. And for good reason. The woman that exercise during pregnancy has been proven to have:

Better

  • energy levels
  • sleeping habits
  • posture
  • muscle tone, strength, & endurance
  • chances of quick delivery
  • recovery from childbirth

Reduced

  • bloating & swelling
  • backaches
  • the risk of gestational diabetes
  • long-term obesity

Caution

Avoid exercises like squats and lunges with weights. Exercises that encourage “baring down” may induce premature contractions or labour. When doing squats and lunges ensure that you have a spotter to watch and assist you. Ensure that you are breathing properly as you want to always make sure that there is enough oxygen getting to your unborn baby.

Floor exercises, especially in your second and third trimester are not recommended. Laying on your stomach or flat on your back may restrict the blood flow to your baby. This can cause irreversible damage. Always have a knowledgable pregnancy trainer to assist you when doing floor exercises.

Gym and Pregnancy Guidelines:

  1. Exercising during pregnancy must feel comfortable.
  2. Reframe from high cardiovascular exercise.
  3. Low impact exercise – can you still talk?
  4. Breathing exercise is good for increasing oxygen and relaxation.
  5. Pregnancy is not the time for weight loss.
  6. Rest between exercises and make sure that you’re breathing properly.
  7. Keep hydrated and drink plenty of water.
  8. Avoid doing floor exercises, use a swiss ball for abs and back.
  9. If you are feeling fatigued have a rest.

When considering the gym and pregnancy it helps to have a knowledgeable fitness coach to support you during your work out. If you feel discomfort or pain at any time, STOP! Take a break and move onto a different exercise. The most important this is that you and your baby are healthy.

About the author

Dr. Izzy