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Friday, May 14, 2021

Exercising throughout pregnancy

Over the 30 years I have been in the health and fitness industry, I have been very lucky to have seen many of my clients through their pregnancies. It is a wonderful and very exciting time for mums and dads as the bump grows, you get the first kicks and you pick out names.

One thing that I want mums-to-be to do is keep their exercise routines in place, or start a routine, during their pregnancy. If you are starting out on an exercise routine, start off slowly, maintaining a comfortable exercise routine with basic exercises. For those that have been training leading into pregnancy, you will have to make some changes as your pregnancy progresses.  


  • Keep up a training routine, even if it’s just 10 minutes per day.
  • Train with other mums or mums-to-be.
  • Stay hydrated and sun smart.  
  • You will notice your heart rate increase more quickly when pregnant; this is okay as you have two on board, but don’t keep your heart rate high for long periods of time.
  • Your breathing will become heavier more quickly, too, because you are working harder. This is okay, keep your breathing under control and bring it back down to normal after you’ve finished exercising.
  • Go slow during your training.
  • Make sure you’re drinking lots of water and eating fresh food.
  • Get some good sneakers to support your joints and wear comfortable training clothes.
  • Train in the pool. In fact, any non-impact exercise (spin bike, strider, X-trainer) is great.
  • Safety first! Train within your limits.


Try working out for 10-30 minutes and with moderate intensity.

  • Body weight training is at the top of my list: squats, push-ups, step-ups, seated punches, hip raises, modified lunges, standing calf raises, and single leg balancing.
  • Walking: keep to a flat course, and if you do take on some hills, make sure they’re not too intense and do them in sections.
  • Spin classes: if you do a class, inform the instructor you are pregnant.
  • Use the treadmill, X-trainer and strider machines.
  • Weight training: use light weights and increase the number of reps – work on a gentle burn in your muscles.
  • Water training:
  • Walking on the spot
  • High knee raises
  • Water punching: shoulders under the water, punch arms out to the front.
  • Side arm raise: shoulders under the water, raise your arms out to the side of the body and back down.
  • Fast walking: from waist deep water to shoulder deep, and then repeat walking backwards.
  • Treading water: stay close to the edge so you can hold on if required.

Remember, with all your exercises, keep to a moderate intensity and enjoy the different training. Most important, enjoy your pregnancy and stay healthy.

Editor’s note: Our rotating wellbeing and fitness columns provide advice that is general in nature. Please always refer to your preferred health professional for advice suited to your personal healthcare requirements.

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