PREGNANCY! WHATS HAPPENING TO MY BODY?
It can often feel like you are walking around in someone else’s body while you’re pregnant. You gain weight, your body becomes more stretchy (ligamentous laxity) and you grow a tiny human. If you have never been pregnant, imagine suddenly having to carry around an extra 15kgs strapped to your front and trying to do your everyday activities. Evidence has shown that exercise during pregnancy is really beneficial when done safely and can reduce complications during delivery.
EXERCISE DURING PREGNANCY
Research has shown many health benefits from exercising during pregnancy. If you have haven’t been active leading up to your pregnancy it is recommended that you start with low intensity exercise such as walking or swimming accumulating 150 minutes per week. If you have been active leading up to your pregnancy then between 150-300 minutes of low-moderate intensity exercise is recommended per week. Here are examples of suitable forms of exercises during pregnancy.
- Strengthening exercises
- Pregnancy yoga
- Water based exercises
WHEN TO STOP EXERCISING IF PREGNANT!
If you experience any of the below during exercise it is recommend you stop the activity you are doing,
- Shortness of breath prior to exercise
- Chest pain
- Preterm labour
- Decreased foetal movement
- Amniotic fluid leakage
- Excessive body temperature
EXERCISES TO AVOID
- Contact sports
- High altitude or scuba diving
- Exercises laying on your back after the 4th month
- Holding your breath during exercise
- Walking lunges
- Sudden change of direction activities
- Jumping and high impact exercises in 3rd trimester
Now that you are pregnant, looking after your changing body is even more important. Below are some common muscles that get tight and some stretches you can do to help! It is common during pregnancy that some muscle groups become tight.
These include: Hip flexors – Low back – Quad – Chest – Shoulders.
Although your body begins to stretch out some muscles will still be working harder than others and can often get tight.
Here are some safe stretches for you to do!
Cat cow stretch
Hip flexor lunge + Seated piriformis stretch
Chest openers on foam roller
If you are having pain during pregnancy be sure book an appointment online or call us on (02) 4751 9127.
Written by Georgia King
(Physiotherapist at The Physio Depot)