You DO NOT have to stick to low impact activities during pregnancy

I have lost count of the number of times I have read that low impact exercise is safe during pregnancy, with the implication that high impact exercise is not.

The common line to take is that women should just stick to gentle pursuits such as swimming, aqua aerobics, walking and antenatal yoga and pilates (low impact). While these activities are fantastic and would all make a welcome addition to a pregnancy exercise programme, there is no reason that women should feel so limited.

The main thing to remember is that every woman and every pregnancy is different. The level of your workout depends on your pre-pregnancy levels and whether or not you are having a low risk pregnancy. If you are having a straightforward, uncomplicated pregnancy (ask your GP or Midwife if you are not sure) and were active before you got pregnant then carry on – You can run and jump around while you are pregnant, but don’t start any new high-impact activities or marathon training! Your baby certainly won’t mind a bit of jiggling around.

If you feel fit and healthy then you can carry on with higher impact activities like jogging, circuit training, aerobics and fitness classes, step and cycling. Remember to always tell your instructor you are expecting if you are going to a studio class and they will hopefully be able to give you some alternatives if necessary. Be sensible though – you’ll probably want to avoid anything dangerous like contact sports or anything where you fall over a lot!! Also, you’ll have to adapt your exercise as your pregnancy progresses (unless you are some sort of super pro athlete) and cut yourself some slack if you just don’t feel like working out.

Whatever your level of fitness do not forget resistance training! All women should have a programme of resistance training to strengthen the all important muscles of the core and pelvic floor and the rest of the body. The focus should be around functional fitness which is being strong and fit for the activities we do in everyday life.

See my information about some benefits of resistance training and more about the 3-Plan which is an exercise plan for all levels for pregnancy and the 9 month postnatal period.

There is no one-size fits all prescription for exercise during pregnancy; every woman and every experience is unique. It is time we started recognising the enormous benefits around exercise in pregnancy and for new mums and broke away from this boring ‘low impact’ mantra which is boring and restrictive. Lets not take away a love for exercise (or the chance to find it), when women can use it the most!

Comments

Nobuo
Reply

Yeah, seems like very OB is different and each poesrn’s case is different. What you have as your 8 week my OB’s office does during the 12th week, around the same time as the nuchal. Also, depending on your pregnancy history and number of miscarriages associated with those pregnancy(ies), the number of ultrasounds done may be different too and how early you are seen with 8 weeks being the standard 1st appointment. Personally, I think we should be able to get an ultrasound more often than the usual 3 that my OB’s office provides for ppl with normal pregnancies. But I go to a really reputable and awesome practice in the area so I have no real concerning complaints.

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