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Safer exercising during pregnancy Dr Cynthia Collins

Exercise is a vital component in our health at all ages and especially when you’re pregnant, as discussed in our first Rainbow Chiropractic’s Exercising during pregnancy series. However, many women are unsure of what forms of exercise are “safe” during pregnancy. In this article I hope to give a general overview of some safer forms of exercise that can be suitable during pregnancy. As with starting anything new during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant it is important for you to consult your health care team to ensure this exercise is right and as safe as possible for you and your growing bub. If in doubt always check with your appropriate health care practitioner before starting.

Before starting exercise its important to remember the way your body responds to exercise is different during pregnancy. The change in hormones, such as levels of relaxin, causes your ligaments to soften and can increase your risk of joint injuries. Your centre of gravity also changes with your growing belly so this will affect your balance. This extra weight gain, typically between 10-15 kilograms - puts greater strain on your joints and muscles. So always remember to listen to your body whilst exercising and see how you recover post exercise.

Exercise options during pregnancy

-        Moderate-high intensity is recommended for best results (depending on your health and recommendation by health care practitioners)

-        Walking is great, whether it is power walking or strolling form muscular health

-        Yoga is great for flexibility and stress relief

-        Pilates is great for core strength and flexibility

-        Swimming is great for cardio and aerobic health, helps strengthen a range of muscles as well as being low force on the body. It’s even great to just get in the pool and do water walking or floating to help take some of the stress caused by gravity on the muscles, joints and ligaments

-        Cycling provides great aerobic and cardio exercise and is a low impact on the joints and ligaments

-        Aerobics is great for your heart and lung health, but high impact moves should be avoided

-        Running (if you were a runner previously before pregnancy, you can often continue but ensure you are listening to your body and modify the intensity and length to your health and changing fitness levels)

With all types of exercise especially if it is a class/instructor make sure you let the instructor know before you begin to ensure the exercise it tailored and suitable for pregnant women. Many forms of pilates, aerobics and yoga offer pregnancy specific classes.  

For any further questions regarding exercise during pregnancy or any other questions about your pregnancy health please contact Dr Cynthia Collins at Rainbow Chiropractic on (03) 5282 1200 or

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