Pregnancy is an incredibly exciting time for a woman but can also be a very daunting experience with a great number of conflicting messages about the do’s and don’ts during those special 9 months. A woman’s body undergoes amazing transformation physically, physiologically and psychologically which can all leave the mum-to-be feeling elated, nervous, excited and exhausted.

It is widely recognized that exercise is important for everyone for optimal health and new research out of Canada shows that regular exercise during pregnancy can have a 40% reduction in the chance of major complications including pre-eclampsia, gestational hypertension or gestational diabetes.

The revised Canadian Guideline for exercise during pregnancy to includes 6 recommendations:

  1.  All women without contraindication should be physically active throughout pregnancy
  2.  Pregnant women should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week
  3.  Physical activity should be accumulated over a minimum of 3 days per week
  4.  Pregnant women should incorporate a variety of aerobic exercise and resistance training activities to achieve greater benefits
  5.  Pelvic floor muscle training (or ‘Kegals’) may be performed on a daily basis to reduce the risk of urinary incontinence
  6.  Pregnant women who experience light-headedness, nausea or feel unwell when they exercise flat on their back should modify their exercise to avoid this position

Furthermore, women who were not physically active before becoming pregnant the same recommendations would apply. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice from a qualified health professional, such as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, who will be able to tailor an exercise program accordingly. Physical activity may include walking, swimming, Pilates/Yoga or generalized strength training.

Improving your exercise tolerance including cardiovascular fitness and strength has positive physiological benefits on both the mother and baby and can also assist through labour, childbirth and post-partum recovery.

If you want to know more about what you should be doing to exercise safely and effectively during your pregnancy, give our team a call to book with one of our Exercise Physiologists on 1300 273747, or enter your details HERE

To read the research – click here – https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/52/21/1339

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