Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?
Our understanding of exercise in pregnancy + postpartum has come a long way in the recent years, and we are much more likely to treat the “normal” pregnancy as a normal physiological process – not a disability.
We always recommend a pregnant woman to seek clearance from a healthcare provider before starting or maintaining an exercise program. This is because each woman’s circumstances need a tailored approach. Despite this, in the presence of a routine, healthy pregnancy, staying active does wonders for both your own, and your baby’s health in many ways.
However, in the presence of a routine, healthy pregnancy staying active does wonders for both your own, and your baby’s physical, emotional and intellectual wellbeing.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends a woman between the ages of 18-64 participate in 300 minutes a week of low-to- moderate intensity exercise each week, or 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week.
It may come as a surprise that this doesn’t change when a woman falls pregnant (in a normal, healthy pregnancy).
We used to say “don’t start anything new” in pregnancy, in terms of activity. We now recommend that a previously inactive woman actually START moving, and build up gradually over the course of the pregnancy to meet the minimum recommendations by the end of the pregnancy.
This might be as simple as a 10 min walk daily, that builds gradually. Other great beginner exercises include indoor biking, prenatal pilates or yoga.