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Advice on exercise during pregnancy

(8 Posts)
arwen110578 Thu 11-Aug-11 10:24:01

Hi, this is my first post on a forum...ever...eek

I am 5 wks preganant with my 2nd.
In the last few months I have been able to afford my gym membership again and have been really motivated.
I have now discovered I am pregnant but really want to try and carry on with the exercise as I have been feeling in much better health, more energy etc.

During my 1st pregnancy I did not exercise and really noticed that this caused problems with my general ability to cope with the pregnancy, and to top it all off I dislocated my knee on my 1st day of mat leave and spent the rest of the pregnancy with a splint and being looked after by DH and parents!

I am really scared this will happen again with the preganancy weight!

Does anyone have any general do's and don'ts about exercise during pregnancy. I am hoping to be able to carry on with the cardio machines and some of the weights but the lady at the gym basically said she thinks I should just do cycling and cross trainer and stop everything else.

I am not sure whether she was covering herself or whether that is correct and I am just shocked at how little I can now do at the gym..

Hope this makes sense and any advice or experience would be gratefully received! smile

Flisspaps Thu 11-Aug-11 10:25:19

Take it easy, don't push yourself, and do low impact stuff if your body requires you to is the advice that I found (off the net, not from a professional!)

startail Thu 11-Aug-11 10:29:23

I swam right up to the birth of both my DCs no problem.
Weights may be a problem because of the hormones that relax your ligaments make it much easier to strain your back.

jamama Thu 11-Aug-11 12:44:21

If you can, talk to an exercise professional with qualifications to teach in pregnancy. They will have a wealth of knowledge in comparison to your average PT.
But the basics are not to raise your HR for long or to the point where your temp rises significantly. That said, I was cycling to/from work up a big hill last week with no problems (am now 28 weeks; it is better to cycle than walk for me as I have SPD), I know plenty of runners who have continued to run until they saw fit to stop. If you're used to doing a lot of exercise, there is no reason to stop entirely, but you need to find a pace that suits you and your abilities, even walking on a treadmill is better than doing nothing, which generally makes you feel miserable.
You shouldn't hold stretches for too long (again due to ligament relaxation), I've been advised no longer than 8secs; weights are a bad idea due to potential for asymmetric movements on ligaments (hence not lifting/carrying heavy things in pregnancy), which can cause back problems. Once you're into your 2nd trimester you're not supposed to lie prone (on your back) for long due to pressure of the uterus on the vena cava.
Swimming, pilates and yoga are good choices, if you can find a teacher who is qualified to teach pregnant women. I wouldn't go to a class where they're not as many of the exercises may be unsuitable, and in my area there isn't much available. I swim at least once a week and do a weekly aquanatal class at my local pool - check your LA website for these, probably better 2nd trimester onwards.

arwen110578 Thu 11-Aug-11 12:51:51

Thank you for the advice everyone!
I have booked a programme review at the gym to discuss further and will try and mix it up a bit with some swimming and look into pregnancy classes.

Guess I will need to take each day as it comes.

Thanks again smile

LilllyV Tue 06-Nov-12 11:09:47

I think it's different for everyone and depends on your fitness before pregnancy and also your pregnancy symptoms -exhaustion, sickness etc.

I agree, maybe you should see if you can find a fitness instructor that specialises in pregnancy fitness?
I know that this site has someone you can ask questions to if that helps?

noviceoftheday Tue 06-Nov-12 11:25:41

From what I understand, it all depends on your pre-pregnancy fitness levels. Pre-babies I used to go 4 times a week, and that dropped to 2 in pregnancy. I carried on going to the gym until I was 8/8.5 months both pregnancies. First trimester I didn't do anything significantly different except stopped lifting weights but I used the machines.

From 2nd trimester onwards I didn't do anything that involved being faced down. I still ran and used machines, plus cross trainer. I think I stopped using the stepper in this trimester and only used machines that involved sitting down.

By 3rd trimester, the run became a fast walk and only other cardio was cross trainer. I got knackered about 3/4 weeks before the due date so stopped going.

I had a personal trainer all the way through and he designed the programme for each trimester. It's definitely worth seeing a PT (who has worked with pregnant women) to get this input.

Quodlibet Tue 06-Nov-12 15:47:40

This site also has some quite detailed information. I think there's a lot of naysaying around exercise in pregnancy without any actual evidence - when people don't have any detailed expertise they tend to tell you NOT to do whatever it is you're considering doing in pregnancy! A PT sounds like a good idea to me too

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