How to exercise safely during pregnancy and beyond

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The idea of women exercising safely has a few layers. There are pregnancy exercise tips and tricks for the post birth body. It can also cover general fitness, such as preventing exercise related injury and maintaining fitness.

So today at Body Beyond Birth, we’re going to start the conversations around what it means to exercise safely and give you the resources to find out more information in each case

Pregnancy exercise tips

pregnancy exercise tips
Photo by Camila Cordeiro

Exercising during pregnancy has some great benefits including reducing your chances of gestational diabetes, helping with labour and overall fitness, maintaining back and pelvis strength, helping to maintain positive moods, reduce constipation and help you sleep and rest better.

We’ve heard it all when it comes to pregnancy and especially pregnancy exercise tips- what you can and can’t do, what is bad and what is necessary and so on.

It depends on several factors including:

  • Your current fitness level
  • Any issues identified due to your particular pregnancy
  • Your experience with exercise in the recent past
  • Pre-existing issues with menstruation
  • Multiple births
  • Physical disability

It’s a matter of being informed and practical. For example, you probably can’t take up weightlifting if your previous exercise has consisted of gentle strolls, regardless of pregnancy or not. During pregnancy, while your body is changing, it might be tempting to up the ante on exercise. But considering this stage of your baby’s life and your own is one of significant transformation, this is not a decision you should make alone.

Regardless of whether you are as fit as an Olympic athlete or plagued with health issues on a regular basis, pregnancy exercise tips and programs need to be suitable. They need to be assessed on individual merits based on your health and fitness level.

While our pregnancy exercise program is designed by a qualified physiotherapist and by not one but two Pilates instructors, we want you to be as healthy and as safe as possible. That means asking the right questions about any exercise you choose to undertake with input from your health professionals.

If you are considering Body beyond Birth’s pregnancy program or any other form of pregnancy exercise tips or packages, seek advice from a medical professional first. Talk to your OBGYN and women’s health professionals. Have a health assessment done and openly disclose that you are seeking an exercise program suitable for your pregnancy.

The team at Body Beyond Birth is so committed to you and your baby.  We want you to have the healthiest possible pregnancy, we’ll gladly answer any specific questions you or your post natal health team may have.

That way, we can all be assured you and bubs are exercising as safely as possible.

Post pregnancy exercise tips

Birth can have a significant impact on the health of your body. Even if you are the strongest, fittest woman in town, your body may need extra care.

There are several situations where you may require specific information to help you return to a level of healing and fitness prior to undertaking regular exercise.

This includes (but it isn’t limited to) common pregnancy and birth related situations such as:

  • Abdominal separations, muscle tears and general muscle damage
  • Vaginal tears
  • Long or short term impact on the pelvic floor
  • Strain on the heart and/or issues with blood pressure
  • Issues with circulation
  • Back and neck pain and strain
  • Pregnancy related blood sugar issues including diabetes
  • Instability in the pelvis
  • Decreased range of motion or stiffness in joints
  • Light bladder leakage and incontinence

During the building of Body Beyond Birth, Becky and Jackie made it their business to ensure that tips to help you recover from these common birth related impacts were included in our post pregnancy exercise tips and lessons. But again, you should be seeking the assistance of a proper medical professional to help treat any of these issues.

You can even visit the Body Beyond Birth studio in Sydney and book a session with Becky. Outside of Sydney, we suggest you see the most appropriate health professional for your issue. Physiotherapists, women’s health professionals, doctors, OBGYNs and midwives can all offer sound advice on returning to wellness after pregnancy and birth.

Plus, you can always ask us any specific questions, just like with the pregnancy exercise tips. We’re happy to help with any information you need to make an informed choice.

What to watch out for when exercising

Beyond tailored pregnancy exercise tips or general fitness assistance, you should be mindful of what your body tells you.

When exercising, always take precautionary measures such as:

  • Warming up gently as opposed to diving right in to ensure your muscles are warm and supple
  • Drinking water prior to, during and after exercise. This helps keep the acids and salts in your muscles lower to avoid cramps and strains
  • Not pushing too hard, even if you are feeling buoyant. Always maintain gradual increases in complexity, speed and agility so that you don’t accidentally pay for over-training the next day
  • Listen to your body. Working through sickness, too much pain or unusual reactions (e.g. high levels of mucous, sweat or bodily fluids) could be a sign of a body under too much strain
  • Enjoying what you do. One of the best pregnancy exercise tips or indeed tips for fitness in general is to build a happy, healthy relationship with exercise. That way, you’ll be less likely to be defeated by ebbs in your motivation

Want more pregnancy exercise tips or helpful advice on fitness? Check out the Body Beyond Birth blog, hit the Facebook community or explore our programs!