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Are You Pregnant and Wondering If You Can Start or Continue To Exercise?

After much evidence based research it is now widely understood that physical activity can safely be recommended to women during pregnancy and brings many benefits for both mother and baby.

Pregnancy and exercise research
Image credit: Yan Krukov from Pexels

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) recommends that pregnant women take part in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity every week.

Moderate being low impact cardiovascular exercises such as walking and swimming but can also include strength training / strength based exercises.

Physical activities chosen should reflect activity levels pre-pregnancy so if you weren’t active before pregnancy the advice is to start gradually and if you were active, keep going and adapt along the way.

The UK Chief Medical Officer published physical activity guidelines for pregnant women in 2019 via the following super simple infographic which highlights the key benefits of physical activity amongst other useful information. Check it out via the link below:

Exercise may also assist with some common pregnancy related complaints such as:

  • Reduced incidence / severity of back pain

  • Reduced swelling

  • Reduced risk of urinary incontinence

  • Reduced incidence of constipation

  • Improving balance, coordination, and body-awareness

  • Improved circulation, potentially reducing the chance of developing varicose veins

  • Better return to physical activity post birth

Pregnancy does bring many anatomical and physiological changes, which deem some exercises inappropriate or at the very least require modification. Having a trainer qualified in pregnancy and post-natal fitness means they'll have a solid understanding of the changes that take place during pregnancy as well as the common medical conditions that may present. As a result they will be able to adapt your exercise programme to meet your specific needs safely and effectively.

There are certain contraindications which make exercise not viable in pregnancy and others which may require medical approval beforehand. Please consult your GP, midwife or healthcare professional if you have any concerns or questions about exercise in your pregnancy. Everyone is different and what may be deemed safe for one person may not be safe for another.

For more information regarding exercise in pregnancy try these useful links:


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