Staying active when you are pregnant can be a real challenge. There are a lot of changes going on. Keeping active can help keep you healthy but you also need to be kind and gentle to yourself.
If you are new to physical activity it is recommended that you start gradually with 10-minute bouts of continuous moderate intensity activity, building up to a total of 150 minutes a week (1).
Whilst this might sound like a lot, it can be spread throughout the week. Every activity counts, including activities like walking, doing the housework, dancing and gardening. Moderate intensity activity can be described as any ‘activity that makes you breathe faster whilst still being able to talk’.
If you are already active, that is great! You should aim to maintain your physical activity levels. You may need to change the type of activity you do and adapt these activities throughout your pregnancy, for example, replacing contact sports with non-contact sport.
It is recommended that pregnant women perform some form of muscle strengthening activity, that is – three sets of 8-12 repetitions of muscle strengthening activities, twice a week. Encourage women to do regular pelvic floor exercises.
Tips you may wish to share :
- Even if you aren’t able to do 150 minutes, something is better than nothing and every activity counts.
- If you already do a lot of physical activity, keep going. Listen to your body and modify what you are doing based on how you feel. Every pregnancy is different.
1. Department of Health and Social Care. Start active, stay active: infographics on physical activity. Physical activity for pregnant women infographic: guidance. 2017. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/622623/Physical_activity_p