Exercise During Pregnancy

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Exercise During Pregnancy – the recommendations have been updated!

To lift weights or not to lift weights?
To run or not to run?

There are so many differing opinions on what is safe or recommended during pregnancy. And while there is not a one-size-fits-all answer to these questions, there has been an update to the official recommendations due to the latest research. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) in 2020 now recommends the following:

Pregnant women without any contraindications should aim for:

  • An accumulation of 150-300 minutes of exercise per week
  • This should include a combination of aerobic and strength exercise
  • 30-60 mins of moderate intensity physical activity on most and preferably all days of the week
  • Avoid exercise beyond 60 mins unless intensity is light (due to thermoregulation concerns)
  • For overweight, obese or previously very sedentary individuals, it is recommended to start with 3-4 days per week, 15-20 mins duration

What are contraindications?
Contraindications are medical circumstances that may pre-dispose a woman or unborn child to complications during pregnancy. The current guidelines recommend prenatal women receive a check from their OBS-GYN to screen for any such contraindications.

What is meant by ‘moderate aerobic exercise’?

  • Swimming
  • Stationary bike
  • Walking briskly
  • NB: swimming for 45 mins should be done in a pool of less than 33 degrees to prevent overheating.

What about running?
Running is approved as an activity for those women who are already accustomed to running pre-pregnancy. It is not advisable to begin running during pregnancy (this is generally agreed upon between health practitioners, although there is a lack of scientific study around this).

Book Your Prenatal Assessment Today!
At Movement Laboratory we offer prenatal assessments, which involves screening your medical history, performing internal checks for pelvic floor muscle function and making recommendations for exercise. Getting clearance from your OBS-GYN, as well as an internal pelvic floor assessment from your pelvic physio, is the safest and best way to proceed with exercise during pregnancy.

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