Exercise in pregnancy pt II
Safety when exercising in pregnancy is obviously very important, in fact, it's a bit of a balancing act the whole way through your pregnancy. Here are a few thoughts to consider when planning your exercise program:
1. Consult your midwife/obstetrician/GP before commencing any new exercise. Conditions such as a low lying placenta, shortened cervix, hypermobility of joints and threatened premature labour can all be exacerbated by exercise.
2. Consider your pre-pregnancy fitness level. If you are a marathon runner or champion athlete, chances are you can tolerate a lot more activity than someone who primarily walks the dog for exercise. Pregnancy is a time for maintaining fitness, rather than shooting for a new PB. Progress is on the cards, but it's extremely important that you are sensitive to your body's feedback.
3. Dress appropriately - don't overheat! Layers are good- you might find you overheat more rapidly than usual.
4. Hydrate yourself and consider a pre-workout snack. Pregnancy can mean lower blood pressure and blood sugar than normal that can leave you feeling light-headed or dizzy more readily than outside of pregnancy.
5. Pace yourself and rest when needed. There's no harm in sitting out to catch your breath for a few minutes before continuing. Listen to your body. If you start having pain/bleeding/severe headaches or any other concerning symptoms STOP. Sit. Drink some water. Consult your healthcare professional ASAP if there is bleeding or pain involved.
Deadlifts with a kettlebell during pregnancy.
6. Generally, aim for a moderate exertion level - did I mention we're not going for a new world record? As a general rule of thumb, go for a level where you can still carry a conversation. Technically, it is recommended to keep your maximum heart rate at less than 75% of your maximum heart rate, or less than 140bpm (Australian Sports Commission, 2002; Nutrition Australia).
That's a brief overview of some considerations regarding exercise in pregnancy. For more information consult your healthcare professional as previously mentioned or check out one of the links below:
Australian Sports Commission, 2002. Pregnancy in sport: guidelines for the Australian sporting industry. Retrieved 20 September 2014 from Web site; https://www.ranzcog.edu.au/doc/pregnancy-in-sport.html
Nutrition Australia. Physical activity during pregnancy (fact sheet). Retrieved from Web site 20 September 2014; http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/sites/default/files/Physical%20Activity%20During%20Pregnancy_Printable%20PDF.pdf