By Dr Michelle Funder
We all know it’s important to keep our bodies moving [it’s good for the mind, too!]. But what about being active when you’re pregnant?
Light-to-moderate exercise during pregnancy can help with reducing aches and pains and help prepare the body for birth and motherhood.
It can also be used as a great mood-booster too!
However, despite this, more than a third of Aussie mums admit to not exercising while pregnant.
Keep it simple
Your activity level during pregnancy depends on what you were doing before you fell pregnant.
If you weren’t running every day before being pregnant, pregnancy probably isn’t the best time to start! As your body changes with pregnancy your ability and comfort with certain activities will change.
For example, light jogging in the first trimester may be ok (if you are a jogger), but later on in pregnancy that may not be suitable.
If you were regularly active before pregnancy, at least 30 minutes of daily moderate-intensity physical activity is recommended.
Keep it simple – a light walk, swim, cycle, clinical Pilates or doing a yoga routine in the morning is a great way to keep moving during your pregnancy.
But, if you were inactive before your pregnancy, starting with low-intensity exercises, such as a leisurely stroll or swimming, can help keep you healthy.
Know your limits
Although it’s great to be active when you’re pregnant, there are some things to avoid.
Expectant parents should not be doing anything that involves abdominal trauma or pressure, such as excessive jumping, skipping, or contact sports.
Activities that may make your body temperature too high, like Bikram yoga (also called hot yoga) or exercising outside on hot, humid days can also be dangerous.
Some exercises or stretches may have to be modified or averted in general.
Be sure to listen to your body, stop if you feel any abnormal discomfort or pain, and check-in with your health professional.
Why not join a pregnancy exercise class?
Classes are a great way to exercise while getting some socialisation in too. It’s a great way to meet soon-to-be parents in your area! Hearing from other people in a similar situation to you and sharing experiences can be really beneficial.
If it hurts, get help
Most importantly, don’t let pain stop you from enjoying your pregnancy.
Research from Osteopathy Australia reveals one in two (53%) mums suffer from pain during pregnancy and concerningly less than a quarter (20%) seek help from a health professional.