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Can I Exercise During Pregnancy?

We all know exercise is good for us but is it ok to carry on when you’re pregnant? 

The good news is if you were active before you got pregnant, there’s no reason why you can’t carry on. It’s not a great idea to take up a high-intensity mega exercise regime if you’re not used to it but gentle exercise can help you keep in shape, increase your energy levels and improve your mood. 

Top tips for exercise in pregnancy

  • Ease off on the exercise intensity in your first and last trimesters and give it a miss if you’ve got high or low blood pressure, any contractions, health issues, bleeding, high heart rate or your doctor says so. 
  • If you're used to working out carry on, but listen to your body. If it hurts, stop. And there are certain exercises it’s good to avoid like heavy weight lifting or hardcore abdominal workouts. 
  • If you’re new to exercise start with something gentle like walking or swimming. 
  • Keep an eye on your body temp, heart rate and breathing and take a 10 min chill if they start to creep up. 
  • If you’re unsure about high impact sports, have a chat with your doctor. If you’re super fit things like long-distance running or HIIT could be ok but it might not be for everyone. 
  • Treat yourself to a decent sports bra and workout gear so you’re nicely supported. 
  • Have a snack before and after your workout and drink plenty of water during and after too. 
  • Don’t forget those pesky hormones loosen your ligaments so be careful about sudden turns and twists, it’s easier to pick up an injury. 
  • Don’t lie on your back for too long as this reduces blood flow to your baby. And it probably goes without saying but don’t workout lying on your stomach. 
  • Avoid any contact sports and it’s best to leave the horse riding and skiing until after your baby makes their entrance. 

What about after I have my baby? 

Exercise is a great way to help you get ready for birth. And most people can get back to it pretty much straight after (although the sleepless nights might slow you down a bit). It’s best to wait until you’ve had your 6-week check-up and if you’ve had a C Section you might need a bit longer. 

Found this helpful? Read: How do I prepare for my baby?

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