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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can I still exercise when pregnant?

    I am a 28 year old female and just found out I am pregnant. I have been active my whole life (running, biking, swimming). Can I still participate in these activities and go to the gym? What are the best types of exercise for pregnant women? Are there any activities I should avoid?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Samantha Ling

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Samantha is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD), consultant and food and nutrition enthusiast. Samantha works in a private practice on the Central Coast, NSW, Rostant … View Profile

    Of course you can still exercise! Depending on your health circumstances (ie. if you have a history of miscarriages etc) some exercise may not be suitable. Obviously, avoid contact sports or high risk sports. Talk to your GP and get an assessment of your pregnancy, your GP will be able to guide you in what type of exercise level you can participate in.

    Generally, your level of exercise will lessen over the course of the pregnancy. Yoga and pilates are idea for pregnancy as they support your core muscles, can assist with alleviating some of the aches and pains associated with pregnancy and are considered ‘low risk, low impact’ sports. Swimming is perfect as well, especially in the later stages of your pregnancy as the water will lift some of the weight off of you while still allowing a wide range of motions.  
    Again it depends on your circumstances, but generally speaking running is fine and will probably slow down to brisk walking  later in the pregnancy.

    It would probably be worth your while to talk to a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist as well as your GP.

    Samantha Ling
    Accredited Practicing Dietitian
    Rostant Nutrition
    (Find us on facebook at www.facebook.com/rostantnutrition )

  • Antony Lo

    Physiotherapist

    Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist (trainee Specialist) in Marrickville, Sydney, NSW, Australia. I specialise in the spine, especially the thorax and pelvis (SIJ). I enhance sports performance, address … View Profile

    Assuming everything about you and your pregnancy is “normal”, of course you can still exercise!

    I always recommend that my clients only do what they were doing before they found out they were pregnant. For example, I have a number of friends who were doing Crossfit 6 times per week. They were all able to do Crossfit until about 37 weeks - some went right up until they gave birth. Obviously they changed the exercises to make it suitable for them and were sensible and listened to their physio (me) and the trainer.

    If you have weren't doing exercise but would like to start, then I would recommend you see someone like a physio who has experience in ante-natal exercise. They can provide you with a structured program that takes into account all the changes occuring in your body as well address any weaknesses or imbalances that need to be worked on.

    Classes like Yoga and Pilates and other group exercises are all fine to do but obviously some classes will be better in quality that others. Aim to go to a class which has relatively low numbers to maximise the supervision you will be under.

    When in doubt, ask your ante-natal physiotherapist for recommendations.

    Antony Lo
    The Physio Detective
    APA Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist (Spine, Pelvis, ante and post-natal)
    www.physiodetective.com

  • Maria Nguyen

    HealthShare Member

    If you have a normal pregnancy, of course, you can exercise. When you get further into your pregnancy and it is won't be easy to exercise as you used to, there are plenty of exercise routines for pregnant women in the third trimester. Also, you not only can exercise during your pregnancy, it is also good to exercise for your baby development.

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