Versha Patel is the founder of Birth And Beyond Fitness, a group women can go to that’s centered around health and fitness leading up to and following giving birth. Focusing her training and nutritional plans largely around pre and postnatal, Versha has given us her expert advice around pregnancy and postnatal exercise.
Can you exercise during pregnancy?
It wasn’t that long ago that pregnant woman were encouraged to rest and do nothing physical throughout their pregnancy, thinking this was best for mother and baby.
However, more recently research has supported the many woman who want to exercise through pregnancy and it is now encouraged for all healthy pregnant woman to do so. Though there are exceptions to those woman who have contraindications to exercise (any conditions that exercise is not recommended for). You should always check with your health care provider that you are OK to partake in any particular exercise.
Can I run or continue with my fitness classes during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a special time and exercising throughout can change the experience positively. Improved mood and energy levels are just some of the many benefits.
It is recommended by the RCOG (Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists) to continue with the exercise you have already been doing until around the beginning of the second trimester, or longer depending how you feel. Therefore, continuing with running and/or fitness classes you have been doing is fine until around then. However, reduce the pace and intensity to a level where you are not overheating and able to speak throughout.
It is, however, recommended that you do not start something new or intense that your body is not used to. The only new fitness workout I’d recommend introducing are pregnancy-specific exercise classes. These are usually adapted to ensure all abilities can benefit from the exercises.
Why should you exercise during pregnancy?
- It prepares you for birth – physically and mentally. Both labour and birth require significant stamina, body and mental strength.
- Increased energy levels – which help you feel great
- Improved sleep & mood – the endorphins released during exercise will raise your spirits and the physical will fatigue you enough to improve the quality of sleep.
Exercising into the third trimester can be the best prescription of action to t