Exercise Do’s and Don’ts During Pregnancy

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Here are some do’s and don’ts before, during and after exercise for all pregnant ladies:

WORDS JOANNA ONG

Planning on continuing to exercise when you’re preggers, read what the expertsAshleigh Mitchell, an osteopath specialising in pregnancy and paediatrics from City Osteopathy & Physiotherapy; Donna O’Shea, a certified pre-post-natal PT and Pilates instructor and the owner of Donna O’Shea Fitness andDr Ivy Lim, a consultant at Changi Sports Medicine Centre & Singapore Sports Medicine Centre, have to say on this matter.

 

Before:

Advice from Ashleigh Mitchell

·         Get some good quality sports shoes as they will support that extra load on your joints and also make you less likely              to fall during walking or running. 

·         Invest in some good sports bras. Like it or not, your breast size will increase and you will feel more comfortable if                 you have a supportive sports bra. It will not only help your breasts but also your upper back, neck and shoulders. 

·         Wear loose fitting and easy breathing exercise clothes. This will keep you comfortable and minimise overheating                 during exercise. 

·         Have a healthy snack about 20 minutes before exercise. Give yourself a little longer to digest after a large meal. You           don't want to get low blood sugar while exercising as this can lead to fainting or blackouts. However, if you eat                     too close to exercise then you may experience reflux or stitch-like symptoms. 

·         Be hydrated- drink up to half-a-litre of water before starting.

·         Warm up- this is a good time to work on some breathing exercises and stretches. It is a good idea to increase your              heart rate slowly. You can start with a slow walk and speed up as you go. 

 

During: 

Advice from Ashleigh Mitchell

·         Always listen to your body. If something doesn't feel right stop doing it!

·         Stay hydrated- have around 1 cup of water every 20 minutes during exercise. 

·         Avoid any exercise involving large abdominal contractions.

 

Advice from Donna O’Shea

·         Avoid strenuous exercise during hot weather.

·         Exercise at an intensity where you can still maintain a conversation and not grasping for breath.

 

Advice from Dr Ivy Lim

                ·         Do not hold your breath if you’re carrying weights.

                ·         For water exercise, water temperature should not exceed 32°C.

                ·         Don’t lie on your back for prolonged periods beyond the 4th month of pregnancy as these positions will result in                                 decreased blood returning to the heart.

                ·         Watch out for warning signs during exercise including giddiness, chest pain, headache, vaginal bleeding, regular                                   painful contractions, leaking of amniotic fluid, abnormal shortness of breath, muscle weakness affecting balance,                               or calf  pain or swelling. Stop when these occur and consult your doctor.

 

After: 

Advice from Donna O’Shea

·         Take your time to cool down. Slowly bring your heart rate back down. Do not come to an abrupt stop when                            exercising.

·         Hydrate- drink plenty of water after a workout.

 

Advice from Ashleigh Mitchell

·         Do your breathing exercises again at the end of the workout once your breathing has settled post workout. 

·         Have a healthy snack e.g. a banana to help bring your blood sugar levels back up.

·         Take your pregnancy supplements. If you are very active, you may need specific supplements such as magnesium.               Magnesium deficiency can lead to cramping, restless legs, inability to sleep and feelings of anxiety.

 

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