26 Sep What exercise is safe during pregnancy?
Advice about the level of safe activity while you are pregnant can be confusing. Concerns have been raised that strenuous activity could cause overheating and harm baby or mother.
When testing these theories, researchers concluded continuing vigorous exercise was safe if the woman had been accustomed to this level of exercise prior to her pregnancy (Penttinen & Erkkola 1997; Kardel & Kase 1998). However, others found that women who exercised strenuously 5 times per week had lower weight babies than those exercising 3 times per week (Campbell and Mottala 2001). Guidelines of the American College of Obs and Gynae for pre and post natal exercise (2003) conclude “it appears that birth weight is not affected by exercise in women who have adequate energy intake”.
It is recommended that healthy pregnant women may continue to exercise at their usual intensity, limiting strenuous exercise to three times a week, but that they should seek advice before increasing the intensity of their workout.
Exercise during pregnancy should include aerobic, strengthening and flexibility exercises though there are some cautions because of changes such as increased laxity that should be taken in to account when designing her program.
Certain exercises, such as stomach crunches should be replaced with alternative exercises on the hands and knees and side-lying.
Be sure to maintain your regular check ups and see your doctor if you feel unwell or if spotting occurs.