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Pregnancy exercise

A specific area of fitness, pregnancy exercise covers both pre and post natal periods, so for pregnancy care and advice read on.

When you get pregnant, your body will undergo a remarkable series of changes as it adapts in preparation for the birth. This is not the time to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle - pregnancy exercise can make pregnancy, delivery, and recovery easier and more comfortable.

Both pilates for pre and post natal exercising can be continued at a level appropriate to your fitness, providing there are no adverse effects, that you feel comfortable, and that you don't push yourself too hard.

If you are already a regular exerciser, then your pre and post pregnancy exercise should be a maintenance style programme - this will ensure that the risks don't outweigh the benefits. The good news is the body is already undergoing a natural training effect as the pregnancy progresses, so intensity and amount of exercise can be reduced.

The main area you will need to review is abdominal work. It must be clearly emphasised that you can only maintain minimal abdominal conditioning during pregnancy. To attempt to do anything more is contraindicated for both mother and baby.

General guidelines for exercising when pregnant are:
  • Regular exercise (3 times a week) is preferable to intermittent activity.

  • Maternal heart rate should not exceed 140BPM, duration not to exceed 20 minutes.

  • Avoid exercise in the supine position (on your back), as this position is associated with decreased cardiac output.

  • Be aware of decreased oxygen available during aerobic exercise - stop if you feel fatigued.

  • Non weight bearing activities such as swimming and cycling minimise the risk of injury.

  • As your body shape changes, be aware of exercise in which loss of balance is likely.

  • Pregnancy requires an extra 300kcals per day. Eat well and don't exercise on an empty stomach.




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