How much can I exercise when I'm pregnant?
Pregnancy is such an exciting time, but there's also SO MANY changes happening in your body.
Here's some really important things to know BEFORE you exercise during your pregnancy.
Please note, everyone is different, and your doctor or obstetrician is the best person to guide you on what's suitable in your situation. This information is appropriate for low risk pregnancies in healthy women only.
Heart rate no longer rules
During pregnancy, your resting heart rate goes up, so when you're sitting doing nothing, your heart will be beating faster than in your non-pregant body.
Your maximum heart rate becomes lower during pregnancy. The usual rule of 220 minus your age is no longer relevant, which makes it harder to know how much is TOO MUCH.
For these 2 reasons, watching your heart rate while you exercise is not the best way to monitor your exercise.
Instead, the recommended way to measure your exercise intensity, is using the Borg Scale: Rating of Perceived Exertion. When you're exercising, consider how hard are you working on a scale of 7 - 20. Aim for no higher than about 13-14 out of 20, or "SOMEWHAT HARD" on this scale.
In trimester 1 and 2, you can exercise as often as you like, although it's important to take rest days regularly, and do not try anything new or more advanced than you have been doing before your pregnancy.
In trimester 3, you should exercise a maximum of 3 times per week, which is about as much as you'll probably feel like as your belly continues to grow.
Listen to your body
Ultimately, your body will let you know when it needs rest, and when you're ready to do a bit more. Don't force yourself to exercise if you don't feel up to it, and a gentle walk might be far more helpful than trying to push yourself to do something more.
If you're getting aches and pains that stop you exercising, one of our physiotherapists might be able to help you get back on track, so you can comfortably exercise again.
You can BOOK IN ONLINE to see one of our physiotherapists right now
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