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Exercising while pregnant

(32 Posts)
expectingwriter Tue 26-Feb-13 14:28:01

Hello all. About to enter week 8 and first (early) scan next week. Just wondered how long other mums-to-be waited before exercising? I'm a keen runner and used to do regular yoga until finding out I was pregnant (was training for a half marathon up until that point!) so I've been on a pause for the last two months. I'm getting itchy feet though, feel like I want to be active, - planning on going swimming, re-taking up yoga, gentle treadmill jogs/fast-walks....

Is 8 weeks still too early to go swimming/ yoga/ gentle run?
I keep reading on the NHS website that if you were active before your pregnancy that then it's okay to stay active, just being sensible - but I just don't know whether to still wait for 12 weeks? Anyone similarly into keeping fit with any thoughts?

pinksummer Tue 26-Feb-13 14:32:11

Hi there, I didn't take a break at all from POAS up till now and I'm 20 weeks. I used to exercise 5 times a week, from everything to running, spinning and bodypump. I'm still doing bodypump and circuits classes.
The only reason I've cut back on the spinning was because I was knackered and I sweat buckets in those classes so wanted to take it easy on the overheating, and I've stopped running because it hurts my boobs too much!!
There's no reason for you wait till 12 weeks, crack on with it!

expectingwriter Tue 26-Feb-13 14:45:42

thanks!! am really relieved to hear it, and really helpful!

HavingALittleFaithBaby Tue 26-Feb-13 15:11:08

If your body is used to it, you'll be fine! I struggled in the first trimester because I had such bad sickness but there's no reason why you can't run (maybe just not so intensively as when you were training before?!). In terms of yoga, just discuss it with your class leader because some positions aren't recommended in pregnancy.

dinkystinky Tue 26-Feb-13 15:32:15

fine to do exercise throughout -have done/am doing so for all 3 pregnancies. Yoga in first trimester a nono due to certain poses and most instructors will refuse to teach you (or at least those I spoke to). Just listen to your body and dont go all out at it.

LivingThings Tue 26-Feb-13 15:48:44

I never took a break and caried on running (or suffling!) until 37 weeks with both mine. just take it easy and run at a comfortable pace.

Kopparbergkate Tue 26-Feb-13 15:52:51

I carried on running and did Great South at 17 weeks. The key is to not overheat so I took that to mean tone down the intensity. The only reason I stopped running was because my boobs got too big for an exercise bra - really missing it and can't wait to restart :-)

worsestershiresauce Tue 26-Feb-13 16:04:15

As a fanatical exerciser can I just say to you ladies PELVIC FLOORS. I didn't bother, much, and at 37 weeks was hit with killer SPD. Up to that point I was very active, to the point where I suspect I overstrained my hips. If you really commit to the old pelvic floor exercises you'll keep those muscles toned, and your pelvis will hold up better in later pregnancy. I hadn't realised it was important to do them for any reason other than preventing leakage!

I'll just hobble off with my walking stick now....

EuroShaggleton Tue 26-Feb-13 16:58:37

I'm still gymming away (5+6 now) - cardio + weights. I have cut out my weekly run, but that is because I have always had a tendancy to overheat when running. I am really missing it though and wondering if I could manage to stick to a couch-to-5k run/walk regime if I went out for a trot. I know plenty of people who ran throughout though.

I used to be a keen swimmer (proper distance stuff, not a few lengths of swan breaststroke!) and I am planning to take that up again as soon as the weather warms up a bit.

I've never heard of stopping exercise up to 12 weeks. In fact, i thought it was a good thing, to increase blood flow to the womb. The NHS only advises not taking up exercise during pregnancy, which you would sort of be doing after 12 weeks off!

BTW, I stumbled across this earlier this week (DM link):

CareerGirl01 Tue 26-Feb-13 17:15:55

worseter I feel feel for you - not long now! Pelvic floors are v important!
I think if you've had a break you need to be careful about going back full throttle. I'm 30 weeks pg with DC1 and have been exercising 4/5 times a week - yoga spin running and weights for nearly 20 years. Have managed to keep up a regime of sorts but I didn't stop at the beginning of my pg. even so I've now had to stop running and go easy on things because my hips ache - second and subsequent pregnancies mean your body relaxes more - this is what midwife told me. I did get a Pre natal fitness trainer to give me a programme at 16 weeks

LivingThings Tue 26-Feb-13 17:16:34

Kopparbergkate hey I did GSR at 16 weeks with DD too!!

Adreamz Tue 26-Feb-13 18:14:11

Swimming and yoga is fine. I was told that impact of running is not advisable during pregnancy likewise aerobic style sports. You should tell your instructor for yoga although it didn't effect what I could do until the 3rd trimester. Hope thats helpful xx

LivingThings Tue 26-Feb-13 18:20:01

why would the "impact of running" not be advised!!! whats it supposesd to do - dislodge the foetus!! complete crap!

Beatrixpotty Tue 26-Feb-13 18:43:04

I've been swimming 1.5k 2-3x week all the way through and did with my other 2 pregnancies.It's more like 1k now but I'm 37 weeks.Not sure I could have run for long though but know some ladies who have done 1/2 marathons as late as 28 weeks..

CelticPromise Tue 26-Feb-13 18:46:49

My doctor said it's fine to continue running and cycling. I have given up rugby though grin

HavingALittleFaithBaby Tue 26-Feb-13 18:47:43

My understanding was you shouldn't start running during pregnancy because the body can't cope with the temperature fluctuations, however if you've been used to running you're fine to continue.

worsestershiresauce Tue 26-Feb-13 18:57:37

There is something to be said for avoiding high impact exercise that involves a lot of twisting and jarring of your joints, as the hormone relaxin makes all joints and ligaments much looser, hence prone to injury. Similarly care should be taken to avoid over stretching. However, warming up and cooling down properly does reduce injury risk considerably, so you don't need to give up your favourite exercise, you just need to be a bit more body aware.

Running when heavily pregnant does put a massive strain on the pelvic floor, so do your exercises!

bluer Tue 26-Feb-13 20:24:50

My doc and midwife said aerobics was fine. The woman who runs my class is great and had tailored some parts such as the abs section to suit...I do different things from the others. I also don't jump to avoid impact and try not to over do it!

Christelle2207 Tue 26-Feb-13 22:53:28

First thing I did when I got BFP was go for a run. Three weeks later did a half marathon race. Never occurred to me to stop but I did feel very rough weeks 8-14 ish and barely went out. I'm now 17 weeks and finding it tough getting my fitness back tbh so my advice woul be not to stop at all!

I have heard of docs telling women at very high risk of mc to ease off on the exercise but for most of us its a big thumbs up. Someone I know ran till 38 weeks and is convinced the gave her a quick labour (4h ish).

Woodifer Wed 27-Feb-13 09:13:53

Hi! before DD1 I was a very keen runner (think 20+ mile fell races etc) - when pregnant with her I thought I would continue running - but at about 14 weeks I got really bad PGP/SPD (pelvic pain) after some downhill running in the lakes. I had decided to listen to my body but the annoying thing was the pain didn't come on during the run but after it. I think I may have got PGP anyway but it may have been much later/ less acute if I hadn't been running.

Fortunately for me I love cycling too and was able to continue cycling right through my pregnancy. Seriously, since having DD I am fitter than ever before - I think for endurance sports the adaptations that your body makes during pregnancy (for your increased size and blood volume) mean that after birth you have a stronger heart and more efficient lungs - if you continue even a modicum of training/activity during pregnancy.

Although the PGP was much better after birth - it wasn't for quite a few months that I was able to build up to running again. Again thank god for cycling - if I were JUST a runner I imagine I would have been extrememly frustrated. Running in particular is very impactful on the pelvuis - and I was able to do even quite strenuous hiking but still not do very gentle jogging.

Basically by all means continue exercising (especially if you were active already) but also don't dismiss the potential effects of pregnancy as "rubbish" out of hand - you may or may not be lucky how they affect you.

This time around pg with DC#2 I stopped running as soon as I found out. But have recently started body pump (bench elevated, and for me avaoiding lunges, adapted abdominal work - found a hand leaflet on line for pregnancy adaptations) and pilates. Also beginning to resurrect my swimming.

HazleNutt Wed 27-Feb-13 09:47:25

I've never taken a break and while I can feel that some high intensity classes are getting more difficult (like Bodycombat), I can always adjust and take it easier. I plan to keep doing the ones not involving so much jumping for as long as possible.

There is no evidence that exercise can actually raise the temperature to levels considered risky. One study found that for women exercising at moderate to high intensity for 20 minutes, temperature increased only by .5 degrees C to 37.3 degrees C in late pregnancy - that is not cinsidered risky by any sources.

BobbiFleckmann Wed 27-Feb-13 09:52:01

keep exercising but use a heart rate monitor and keep your h/r below 140. If you can find someone good, I found a couple of personal training sessions with someone who was v knowledgeable about antenatal exercise were invaluable.

mrsmellow Wed 27-Feb-13 09:57:10

I'm 20 weeks and have kept up exercise throughout - although at a lower intensity. I am starting to feel the running in my hips - after the run though as someone said up thread and think will switch to walking and swimming now. I have also just moved continents and am finding the UK cold tough grin and also the price of pilates shock so have ordered a DVD off the internet - am hoping that I'll keep up the exercise without the instructor!

HazleNutt Wed 27-Feb-13 10:20:11

About heart rate, the 140 limit was just a guess and many experts have since stopped recommending it. Including the guy who came up with it in the first place.

In 1985, Artal said, he and other doctors suggested guidelines to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to have pregnant women keep their heart rate below 140 beats per minute during exercise.
Artal said that, in 1985, he and another doctor used intuition and calculation to determine the 140 beats rule. Six months later, when actual testing of women in a lab proved them wrong, Artal said he asked for the 140 beats notation to be stricken from the guidelines.
"For some reason, people caught onto that and they never let go," he said. "Each time I get asked about it, I said forget about it. I think it should be ignored."

dinkystinky Wed 27-Feb-13 10:38:33

Depends on how you respond to particular exercises HazleNutt - when pregnant, I can do a body combat class, burning 600 cals, and my temperature doesnt become too elevated. When running (both before and if pregnant) I find I go through a period of becoming incredibly hot and both temperature and heartbeat spike then go down - so I dont run in pregnancy. I do keep up with combat, pump, boxing (not combat) and pilates and yoga though in pregnancy.

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