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Exercise During Pregnancy

One of the most commonly asked questions we get at the Glasgow Club is what type of exercise can be done when pregnant.

The days of expectant mothers avoiding any activity have long gone and it’s now widely recognised that exercise can be good for the mother and indeed the baby.

The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help you to cope with labour and get back into shape after the birth.

Exercise is not dangerous for your baby and there is some evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour.

There are of course a few important points to note:

  • During pregnancy, whatever exercise you are doing should be to maintain your current fitness levels, not trying to improve your fitness. If you have never been to a gym or fitness class before then its important to let the instructors know as soon as you arrive (and you must always be advised by your own doctor or midwife).​
  • Take time to do a proper warm up and cool down.
  • Be aware that you do not over heat will exercising and make sure you stay properly hydrated.
  • Caution should be used while doing high impact training, then altered later on in pregnancy (avoided completely if you're not a current exerciser).
  • It's advisable to take it easier during the first 12 weeks, but after that you may actually feel better and want to exercise a bit more.
  • Avoid lying on your back after the 16 week mark (pressure of baby on your internal organs).
  • Squatting with weights should be avoided after 6 months due to pressure on your lower back and pelvis, ensure that the weight you are using never increases however body weight squatting is encouraged. This will help strengthen your muscles so that you can carry the extra weight of pregnancy. It will also make your joints stronger, improve circulation, ease backache, and generally help you feel well.
  • Avoid abdominal crunches and instead opt for plank like exercises for your abdominal area. It's really important to do exercises that will increase strength in the pelvic floor.
  • Some machines in the gym will eventually be too difficult to use as your body changes.  Examples of these include the compound row, leg press and rower to name only few.  Consult your gym instructor for suitable alternatives.

Some other excellent exercises include walking, low impact aerobics, aqua natal classes and swimming.

Please always feel free to ask for advice on exercising when pregnant from the instructors at your nearest Glasgow Club - they'll be happy to help!




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