Exercise during Pregnancy

By Leanne Wright

Did you know it is recommended for women to do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise during their pregnancy?

That’s around 30 minutes most days.

Some of the benefits of exercise during pregnancy include;

  • Decreased risk of pelvic girdle pain and low back pain
  • May reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes
  • Reduced recovery time following delivery
  • Improved mental health
  • Excellent for general well being

You will know if you are exercising at moderate intensity if you can still talk, but you couldn’t sing. It’s important not to push yourself to exhaustion, as well as avoiding overheating when exercising pregnant.  Here in Gove this may mean exercising indoors, in the pool or in the cooler hours of the day (early in the morning, later in the evening).

If you were exercising before you became pregnant you may have to modify some of the activities that you were doing before.  Some things to avoid or that you may need to modify include:

  • High impact activities eg. running, HIIT, jumping
  • Contact sports eg. rugby, AFL
  • Sports with frequent changes of direction e.g. netball
  • Activities that may result in a fall e.g. cycling

This doesn’t mean you can’t do these activities! Being pregnant there are lots of additional hormones affecting ligaments and connective tissues in your body preparing it for labour and to allow for the growth of your baby. This isn’t just localised to the pelvis and hips, it affects all connective tissue in the body. It means that being pregnant you MAY be more susceptible to injury, so some modification of activities are important in order to protect your body and your baby.

If you haven’t been exercising prior to your pregnancy you will first need to begin with gentle low intensity exercise. You can still get moving! But don’t rush and listen to how you are feeling.

Some great exercise options during pregnancy include;

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Aqua-aerobics (offered at Arnhem Physio)
  • Prenatal Pilates (offered at Arnhem Physio)
  • Cycling on a stationary bike

Make sure you have a chat to your obstetrician or GP before commencing an exercise program. There are some high-risk conditions that mean women will need to avoid or take extra precautions when exercising during their pregnancy.

If you’re at all concerned about what type of exercise you should be completing, or how frequently, our Physio’s at Arnhem Physio are specially trained in Women’s Health and can guide you to make appropriate and safe exercise choices throughout your pregnancy.


By Leanne Wright




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