ATLETA Fitness

Exercise And Pregnancy

Whilst the idea of exercise during pregnancy may sometimes feel like the last thing on your mind, research and real-world experience has shown time and time again the benefits of regular exercise during these difficult 9 months. Some specific benefits include:

  • Increased energy levels
  • Becoming more physically prepared for the demands of child birth
  • Injury prevention and pain management during pregnancy
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • Less risk of pregnancy related depression or the “baby blues”
  • Improved self image, less weight gain and a more rapid return to pre-pregnancy weight

With these benefits in mind, how do we go about devising the most effective exercise program during pregnancy? We first need to understand the physiological changes that occur during the 3 trimesters, and plan accordingly. Secondly, we should always seek the advice of a doctor or qualified health care individual throughout the exercise process. Finally, remember to listen to your body. You are the indicator of whether the intensity, duration or type of exercise is appropriate to your level or needs.

Exercise And Pregnancy ATLETA Post

Exercise recommendations during pregnancy (as advised by the ACOG USA and Sports Medicine Australia)

  • Avoid exercise in the supine (lying down) position after the first trimester. This will compromise your cardiac output and have an adverse effect on blood flow to the fetus.
  • Be aware of decreased oxygen output – exercise at a more moderate intensity
  • Avoid any exercise with the chance of abdominal trauma – including contact sports in the second and third trimester
  • Pregnancy requires an extra 300 Kcal (1200 KJ) per day to maintain caloric balance. Modify your diet accordingly
  • Ensure you are properly hydrated at all times, and avoid prolonged exercise in the heat
  • Be aware that your centre of gravity will change throughout your pregnancy term. This can lead to an increased risk of falling during exercise and dynamic/ballistic movements should be avoided
  • Cease exercise immediately if you develop any medical or obstetric complications

Guidelines to exercise during pregnancy

Sedentary women:  Light-moderate aerobic exercise (walking, swimming, cycling, cross training) with light resistance exercise (20 mins, 3-4 x week)

Active women: Moderate/high intensity exercise is safe up until mid pregnancy (weeks 20-24), with moderate resistance exercises (30-40 mins 3-4 x week)

During the third trimester, use non-weight bearing exercises and low intensity aerobic and resistance training such as swimming and walking.

The team at ATLETA are highly qualified exercise physiologists with a wide range of experience in exercise during pregnancy, including pre and post-natal exercise.  With years of experience and a strong physiological background, you can be sure that your exercise is devised in a safe, fun and efficient way. For more information, contact Neil or Rob at

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