Can I exercise safely during and post pregnancy?
As a fitness advisor it’s a question we get asked regularly and the answer is yes!
For most women it is absolutely safe to exercise during your pregnancy, however for some it may not be, so always check with your doctor/ midwife before you start.
As a mum of two boys age 5 and 3 and a big fan of exercise, I exercised regularly pre/during and post baby. With my first pregnancy I was on the cross trainer at Bramcote Leisure Centre 10 days over my due date hoping it would bring labour on! I was teaching spin classes up to 7 months with both, so like I say if your body is used to it you can carry on, just keep well hydrated and be conscious of your heart rate and blood pressure. Above all listen to your body and recognise your limits to ensure that you never feel completely exhausted after a workout, but aim to finish your session feeling energised.
There are some exercises that you need avoid throughout your pregnancy and these include; sit ups, crunches and planks. I’d also advise against starting any new exercises or activities without consulting your midwife or doctor first.
Good exercises to do while pregnant include; light cardio, squats, pelvic floors, glute bridges, and light resistance work, all of which help when it comes to labour and keeping the strength for post baby. Keep it simple, and remember that exercising during pregnancy is about maintaining your fitness rather than making huge fitness gains.
After giving birth you’ll need to have a postnatal check-up at 6 weeks before returning back to exercise. If everything went well with the labour your doctor will allow you to come back to exercise but again listen to your body. A lot of women suffer with diastasis rectus abdominis after giving birth (the separation of the abdominals) so be aware of this and steer clear of the sit up, planks and crunches until its knitted back together.
After giving birth to my second son my partner and I set a date to get married and this gave me 9 months to get back in shape and to fit in to my wedding dress! The Bring Baby classes at Bramcote Leisure Centre were brilliant; BTT 10.45-11.30 Wednesdays and Bring Baby Spin 10.45-11.30 on Fridays. I religiously attended these classes week in week out with a light jog once a week and along with eating healthily before I knew it I was down to the size I wanted to be and my dress even had to be taken in a little bit!
If you’d like to find out more about exercising while pregnant or for exercises after birth, just ask for me at Bramcote Leisure Centre and we’ll have a chat and I’ll design a new programme to meet your specific goals and lifestyle.
Sarah, Fitness Advisor, Bramcote Leisure Centre