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Pregnancy and exercise?(23 Posts)
I am 3.5 weeks and a regular gym go-er. I will struggle to not attend the gym as I depend on it as a relaxation method after a hard days work. What are people's thoughts on exercising whilst pregnant?
It’s perfectly safe to continue to exercise during pregnancy as long as you aren’t doing extreme or contact sports. You can do pretty much everything you are used to and can even continue to build fitness and strength. Just be aware of what your body is telling you and make sure you are well fuelled. Abdominal-specific exercises like crunches or sit ups are a no go after the first trimester for obvious reasons. Deep squats are usually thought to be a bad idea later on (end of 2nd trimester onwards) - you can use a bench to touch your bum to to stop yourself over-doing the movement.
I was planning to do a marathon (admittedly slower than I would have planned to do it!) and was hoping to continue triathlon training right the way through but unfortunately I’ve been so unwell with hyperemesis that I’m only just starting to re-introduce some gentle sessions in now at 16 weeks. It’s going to take a long while to build my fitness back up unfortunately and has been really hard on my mental health.
The advice I've heard is it's fine to continue the level of exercise you were doing before pregnancy. I have continued to go running about once a week and am currently almost 9 wks.
Sorry, I should add to the above: the level of exercise you were doing before pregnancy but you should be able to hold a conversation and shouldn't be more breathless than that is what I heard!
I swim a mile three times a week - always have so will carry on until I can’t
A little bit of breathlessness won’t hurt occasionally - eg. Interval training or moderate intensity running (provided you are used to this). It’s recommended you avoid excessive breathlessness though.
Listen to your body. If you were exercising before and feel up to it then it's really beneficial to continue being active.
I continued as long as I could on the treadmill. Did Pilates and swimming up to and past due date and did lots of angry walking uphill to try and get the buggers out.
Thank you for all your comments! I feel like I'm not far enough gone ATM to feel any different and whilst being at the gym this week I've felt ok but was unsure if it was harmful to the baby.
They say that light exercise is good but I wouldn't call my training light so I wasn't sure. Great advice about listening to your body, I think if I can cope and I'm not pushing too hard I'm gonna keep at it until I feel I can't.
Good to hear you are feeling well enough to get back training after 16 weeks! Hopefully this helps to ease the feelings you are feeling.
I did the same amount (a lot) all the way through. I stopped at 39 weeks.
My doctor said to keep everything up- as long as I listened to my body. Midwife said I shouldn’t get out of breath and should be able to hold a conversation. Dr said that was a load of rubbish... I ran till about 30 weeks and swam the day before I went into labour.
I was (and am!) an avid runner, I just don't push myself and take rest when I need it, drink plenty of water etc etc :-) did my local 5k run every Saturday until 32 weeks, only due to the aches and pains afterwards. Call me mad but I still do Zumba (36+1) every Monday for an hour, it's not hardcore or anything and I don't jump around. I just adapt some of the actions. Just to stretch limbs out or I'd just be vegging on my sofa eating chocolate 24/7 😂😂 Ill probably stop next week though, just listen to your body :-)
Yes - there would be little point doing cardio if you didn't get even slightly out of breath. I ran until my bump made it uncomfortable then replaced that with fast walking on an incline.
One thing to keep in mind when listening to your body is that, from early pregnancy, your blood volume increases and this can reduce your blood pressure. Not a reason to stop exercising at all but you may find you are more prone to feeling a bit faint/dizzy or that you get out of breath more quickly doing cardio work.
Could you book a couple of sessions with a PT who understands pregnancy? They will be able to show you how to use gym equipment safely whilst pregnant, suggest alternative exercises etc.
I am 31 weeks pregnant at the mo (and slowing down a lot now!) I see a PT once a fortnight and it gives me loads of confidence to keep going.
I have a PT ATM but as it's so early in my pregnancy I don't want to tell him as it is such a local gym. Would you advise that I tell him?
That's a difficult one. I'm no expert so not really in a position to advise but if you normally train v hard then I would imagine it's a good idea to let him know. You would hope he would be able to keep it confidential.
For what it's worth, I told my PT soon after I found out (about 6 weeks). But it's quite an impersonal, busy gym so I wasn't worried about her passing it on to anyone I knew.
I'm 29 weeks and still going to the gym to do weights a few times a week (also rode my horse until 26 weeks and went skiing at 25 weeks) Just research from reputable sites what exercises to avoid, such as most ab work. I tend to focus on squats, lunges and shoulder and arm work with lighter weights than I used pre pregnancy. Listen to your body and slow down when you need to. I can't run anymore as it's uncomfortable but walking is ok, just slower than I used to be!
I highly recommend you look at Emily Skye. She is an Aussie fitness model who gave birth 3 months ago and shared numerous of her pregnancy workouts. Her post pregnancy info and workouts are also great for when we will need them, once our bodies are ready to start training avian after birth! Be careful of instagram and Facebook as you don't know who has the training for pregnancy weight training!
O, and don't feel deflated if you need to stop going to the gym completely for a while - I couldn't do anything from about 6 weeks to 14 weeks due to pregnancy sickness. I just got back into it all again once I felt ready. Even now, if I don't feel right, I don't go.
Really interesting reading everyone's experiences. I normally cycle 100-200 miles a week and was convinced I would be able to keep cycling all the way through but I'm already not so sure.
I've done a few ok rides since finding out (I'm 6 weeks) but this Sunday I did a 30 min run in the am and a 2 hour ride in the afternoon (normal for me) and found it really hard. I did not enjoy it at all, I was riding with my partner and kept asking him to slow down. I think in future I will ride more on my own or with people slower than me so I can stay in control of the pace.
May be it was just one bad day so I'll keep at it. I'm still doing yoga every morning but man does it make me sweat and breathe heavily now!
@farmmama - thanks for the tip on Emily Skye - I will look her up.
Personally I disagree with the usual typical advice to slow down in the first trimester and get back into it in the so- called golden second trimester. I was used to training about 5 days a week and I pushed on through in the first trimester despite nausea and fatigue and it was the best thing I could have done. If I'd taken those weeks off I would have lost so much strength and momentum to keep going, I imagine I would have not bothered much in the 2nd trimester. The 2nd trimester is not necessarily a time of feeling like superwoman. You might have a bump in the way or swollen legs or hip issues. As it was, I cut down the cardio as I felt it jolted me around, but kept the weights etc going as normal right through to 8 months. After the baby was a different matter as I was exhausted with no time to exercise. For me that made me extra glad I'd perservered through pregnancy as I'd earned the break.
Petra is probably right. If you can, definitely push through the first trimester. I’m in my second trimester and still exhausted and vomity!
I really wish I'd pushed through the fatigue and light-headedness of the 1st tri and carried on running, because my fitness levels dropped drastically after two months of basically doing nothing. Obviously be sensible, but agree with PPs that it's really hard to pick things back up later. Now about to start 3rd tri with a proper bump, and only made it to the gym 3 times in the last 3 months...
@rideforthehills I was also a road cyclist until September (did an east to west coast to coast just before getting pregnant) and the thought of doing any kind of cycling once I started getting tired in pregnancy makes me feel sick 😂 I'm not surprised you can't keep up with hubby anymore! Everyone is different of course, but as a general rule most people start to get tired very early on in pregnancy. I'm sure you want to keep getting out on the bike, but no doubt you will need to slow it down a few notches. Also people say balance is an issue so be careful on a bike once bump starts to grow, but I'd just see how you go 😃
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