Exercise Guidelines when Pregnant

Exercise Guidelines when Pregnant

There are a lot of guidelines about exercising when Pregnant – the HSE/NHS/ACOG/NICE- and they all recommend
exercising when Pregnant. If you are healthy and your pregnancy is normal, it is safe to exercise when pregnant.
It is important to discuss exercise and what types you plan to do with your GP or medical health care
professional, midwife or obstetrician.‍

Benefits of Exercising when Pregnant:

·         Reduces back pain

·         Eases constipation

·         Improves your overall general fitness

·         Keeps your body flexible and strong

·         Increase energy levels

·         Help prevent or treat gestational diabetes

·         Help reduce high blood pressure

·         Improve posture

·         Improve sleep

Tips when Exercising:

·         Make sure to stay well hydrated – before, during and after your workout. Avoid

·         Wear a supportive bra and towards the end of the pregnancy a SIJ (sacroiliac) belt
may be needed when walking to help to support the pelvis.

·         Warm up well and cool down with some stretches.

·         If you are taking classes, make sure to inform your instructor that you are

·         Avoid overheating when exercising. Drink plenty of water, wear loose fitting
clothes and exercise in a temperature controlled room.

·         Avoid standing still or lying flat on your back after 12 weeks. Standing
motionless can cause blood to gather in the legs and feet. Lying on your back when pregnant
causes obstruction of a large vein that returns
blood to the heart.

How Much Exercise To Do:

The guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity every week. That is 5 times a week
for 30 minutes or more. Brisk walking is an example of aerobic activity. Moderate means you are moving enough to
raise your heart rate and start sweating. The talk test is always helpful – you should be able to talk normally
but not able to sing. If you are new to exercise, start gradually and build. Begin with 5 minutes daily and each
week add another 5 minutes until you are at 30 minutes a day. If you are already active, check with your GP that
your activities are still safe to do.

Safe Exercises to do when Pregnant:

‍·         Brisk walking

·         Swimming

·         Water workouts

·         Stationary biking

·         Modified Yoga

·         Modified Pilates‍‍

Exercises to Avoid when Pregnant:

·         Contact sports – GAA/soccer/basketball etc

·         Skydiving

·         Activities with a high risk of falling – horse riding, cycling on a road,
gymnastics, skiing etc

·         Hot Yoga or Hot Pilates

·         Scuba diving

·         Activities above 6,000 feet

Warning signs to stop exercising:

Please stop exercising and contact your GP immediately if you begin to experience any of the following:

·         Bleeding from the vagina

·         Feeling dizzy or faint

·         Shortness of breath before you start exercising

·         Chest pain

·         Headache

·         Muscle weakness

·         Calf pain and swelling

·         Regular painful contractions of the uterus

·         Fluid leaking from the vagina

Go to our Facebook page to check out our live session on Physiotherapy Tips for Exercising when Pregnant. In the
clinic we run Pregnancy classes that are a modified Pilates class to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles,
improve mobility in the spine and rib cage and to help offload stress and tension in the shoulders and neck.
Yvonne and Tricia are both qualified to treat back pain, sacroiliac joint dysfunctions and pubic pain for
Pregnant ladies. To book in for a consult today, please contact us here at Head 2 Toe Chiropractic &
Physiotherapy on 021-2011159 or email us on info@head2toechiropractic.ie