Pregnancy & Exercise

posted Oct 24, 2018, 8:22 PM by Difference Personal Training   [ updated Oct 24, 2018, 8:27 PM ]

There are numerous potential health benefits for women who exercise during pregnancy, including better weight control, improved mood and maintenance of fitness levels. Regular exercise during pregnancy can also decrease the risk of pregnancy-related complications such as pregnancy-induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia.Before exercising when pregnant, consult your doctor, physiotherapist or healthcare professional. You may need to modify your existing exercise program or choose a suitable new one if you were exercising very little before getting pregnant. 


Benefits of exercise during pregnancy




Increased Energy

Improved Fitness

Reduced Back Pain

Faster recovery from labour

Improved posture

Improved circulation

Decreased risk of complications

Weight control

Stress relief

Reduced risk of anxiety & depression

Improved sleep management





Exercising and changes associated with pregnancy


Your body will undergo many changes during pregnancy. Some will affect your ability to exercise, or require you to modify your exercise routine, including:


              Hormones such as relaxin loosen ligaments, which could increase your risk of joint injuries

              As pregnancy progresses, your weight will increase and you will experience changes in weight distribution and body shape. This results in the body’s centre of gravity moving forward, which can alter your balance and coordination.

              Pregnancy increases your resting heart rate, so don’t use your target heart rate to work out the intensity of your exercise.

              Your blood pressure drops in the second trimester, so it is important to avoid rapid changes of position – from lying to standing and vice versa – so as not to experience dizzy spells.  

Suggested exercise activities during pregnancy





Muscle strengthing exercises (pelvic floor)



Resistance Exercise


Exercises to avoid while pregnant


During pregnancy, avoid sports and activities with increased risk of, or characterised by:

              abdominal trauma or pressure – such as weightlifting

              contact or collision– such as martial arts, soccer, basketball and other competition sports

              hard projectile objects or striking implements – such as hockey, cricket or softball

              falling – such as downhill skiing, horse riding and skating

              extreme balance, co-ordination and agility – such as gymnastics

              significant changes in pressure – such as SCUBA diving

              heavy lifting

              high-altitude training at over 2000 m

              supine exercise position (lying on your back)