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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What would you recommend to be a healthy level of exercise for a pregnant woman throughout her pregnancy?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Vangel Rizos

    HealthShare Member

    For any type of Aerobic,  Cardio,  type session,  ( that gets your body temperature high ) do what you use to do before you got pregnant at 80% intensity and for no longer then 20 minutes at a time. Its best not to cook ( get the baby and your body too hot ) for the same reason, no spas, sauna, no hydrotherapy swimming pool,  normal swimming pool at 26 - 28 degrees is ok but watch out for friends pools and check the temperature before you go in with a thermometor,  solar heating systems in back yard domestic pools can seem novel being nice and warm however you baby will be at risk.
    Any other training 70% of intensity.  Do it on your own at home or in a special class for pregnant women,  not in a room full of competitive gym junkies,  Stretching is the best, with some pelvic floor exercises and do it 2 - 3 times a day for 5 - 15 minutes at a time. you can find plenty of these on the net.   

  • Brigitte Safrana

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist

    I created Surfing The Blues and Surfing The Baby Blues Counselling & Hypnotherapy services in order to help individuals and couples restore balance in their … View Profile

    Hi there and congratulation on the new addition to the family.  A nice 20mns walk everyday at a leisure pace is usually quite good for pregnant women and I'll recommend some waterobics for pregnant women once a week. Look at the Aquanatal website it is enlighteneing and much fun.
    Hope that helps. Good luck with the birth.

  • Cameron Phillips

    Exercise Physiologist

    Exercise Physiologist, Echuca, Deniliquin, Kyabram. Strength and Balance, Prevention of T2 Diabetes, CVD. Strength and ConditioningFarmer, chemical free Biodynamic (enhanced organic) pomegranates, pasture raised beef … View Profile

    I tend to agree with Vangel here. It will of course depend on the fitness and health history of the individual.

    I have found healthy motivated pregnant young women (20-33rs) have been able to complete all the same exercises as before pregnancy (except supine postures) at least up until the start of third trimester (give or take a fortnight).

    We have performed all of the following bodyweight exercises safely three times per week for 40min right through to four - six weeks before child birth:

    • Squats
    • lunges and walking lunges
    • horizontal pull ups from lowered bar (chest height) or rings and straps
    • push ups or modified push ups
    • Quadruped - bird dog exercise
    • Side bridges and modified side bridges
    • Shoulder press and military press (free weights required)
    • Transverse adbominus and pelvic floor training
    Additional aerobic exercise such as, jogging, skipping and walking were included in these sessions as interval style training. That is, short work efforts with rest periods repeated through the session of varying activities

    Intensity of exercise does decrease (approx 70-80% intensity of before pregnancy intensity) and volume decreases to 20-40mins of work for the exercise session.

    Ob/Gyn's recommend that new mums and babies to be, do not get too hot or engage in contact sports or activites which can be detrimental to the health of the unborn baby.

    We eliminated supine (lying on your back) exercises after 1st trimester as there is a risk of the uterus pressing on the vena cava which may limit blood supply and blood pressure to the baby.

    IN SUMMARY
    • I recommend 30min of moderate to vigorous exercise per day 55-90% max HR depending on your starting fitness level
    • Exercise at least 6days per week
    • Include bodyweight resistance training three times per week for 30min targeting major muscle groups
    • Aerobic training which may include brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming three times per week for 30min or combine it with bodyweight training and walk on alternate days
    • Listen to your body
    • Stay up to date with check ups with your GP and or Ob/Gyn
    Below are two links with recommendations for exercise and pregnancy that you may find helpful
    http://exerciseismedicine.org/pdfs/c36pregnancy.pdf

    http://www.acsm.org/docs/current-comments/exerciseduringpregnancy.pdf

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