I definitely encourage women to get moving during their pregnancy. Obviously there will be some exceptions to this rule but assuming you have the all-clear from your doctor- stay active! There are so many benefits of exercising during pregnancy but perhaps the biggest motivator is how much it can help your body recover once your baby is born. During your pregnancy it’s not only safe but incredibly beneficial to exercise 3-4 times a week for around 20-30 minutes (28 being the magic number). There are, however, things to be mindful of to ensure that you’re keeping both mum and bub safe. Here are things to be aware of when exercising pregnant.
1. Don’t overexert
Pregnancy is not the time to be attempting PB’s or hitting your max heart rate. Keep your heart rate in a safe zone- your doctor will be able to help you determine what this looks like for you. As a general rule of thumb, you should be able to hold a conversation as you workout. If you are short of breath for longer than a minute or two then you’re probably overdoing it.
2. Keep cool
You need to be working out in a well-ventilated, cool environment. Your core body temperature is already higher than normal when pregnant so you need to be taking necessary precautions to ensure you do not overheat. Don’t forget to stay hydrated.
3. Be ready to make changes
In the early days of your pregnancy, it’s generally okay to do the same kinds of workouts you were doing prior to falling pregnant, with the exception of contact sports or workouts where there is a high risk of falling. As you progress into your second and third trimester you’ll need to avoid high-impact exercises, like jumping and jerking movements. You should also avoid heavy weights that put too much pressure on your pelvis. Try swimming, walking and pregnancy yoga and Pilates as these are some great low-impact options that are gentle on your body but still keep you active.
4. Work with a professional
Make sure you are working with a professional that you trust. Whether this is with a PT, through a safe and reputable online program, with a pregnancy physio or with a pilates instructor- make sure you are working with someone who understands you and your individual needs. You should also make sure they have experience with pregnancy-related training.
5. Know the warning signs
There are some warning signs that you need to be aware of when exercising pregnant. Lightheadedness, dizziness and nausea are not symptoms that you should ignore. They can indicate low blood sugar levels, low blood pressure or that your body is overheating. If you experience any or all of these symptoms you need to stop, rest and make sure you’re well hydrated and well nourished. Spending too much time on your back can also trigger these symptoms as the pressure from the weight of that growing bump can place pressure on your major arteries. This is when sitting, standing and side-lying positions may be better for you as you get further into your pregnancy.
Through my 28 by Sam Wood Pregnancy Program I’ve had the pleasure of working with thousands of mums during one of the most special times in their lives. I know how incredibly important it is that they feel safe, comfortable and supported with their training and nutrition during their pregnancy. This is why I have a team of experts around me including pregnancy experts, physios and nutritionists that they can access any time as this is most definitely a time in their life where they have lots of questions.
Sam Wood is the founder of the 28 by Sam Wood program and the 28 App. The app includes 28 minute workouts the cover HIIT, yoga, Pilates, Pregnancy and post-natal as well as nutrition tips, recipes and mindset/ meditations. He has also just announced his 8- week summer body challenge where a lucky winner will receive a trip to Bali for 4 people.
If you’re pregnant, make sure you speak to a healthcare professional about what exercises are right for you.
While we’re on the topic, these are Snez’s top 5 pregnancy Pilates moves. Plus, Tiffiny Hall reveals her new pregnancy routine.
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