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Pre-Natal Fitness – Is it for you?

Generally speaking – yes!  Unless your doctor recommends that you do not participate in any exercise program due to medical reasons, you should consistently participate in a mild to moderate exercise routine.  (ALWAYS consult your doctor first before starting any physical activity program).

Exercise not only helps us feel better, it helps in preventing any excess weight gain during pregnancy.  Exercise helps us develop stronger muscles, bones and joints which will help reduce the feelings of aches, pains, and other troublesome symptoms of pregnancy.  Exercise will help relieve stress, and help build strength and stamina (which will be needed during the upcoming labor).  Exercise will also provide you with more energy so that you don’t feel as tired during your day-to-day activities.  Studies have also shown that exercise can help reduce post partum depression, and help control gestational diabetes.

A good program will have you exercising 3 to 5 times a week.  Always start with a light 5 minute warm up (a brisk walk).  The intensity level during the workout will be dependent on your age.  See below:


Less than 20                             140 to 155

20 to 29                                   135 to 150

30 to 39                                   130 to 145

40 plus                                     125 to 140

30 to 45 minutes of cardiovascular training, resistance training and stretching is all that you need – try swimming, walking, aquafit, cycling, elliptical machines, stair machines; make sure that it’s fun and enjoyable.

Consider exercises that:

  • Support the enlarged breasts
  • Strengthen arms
  • Prevent rounded shoulders
  • Prevents ankle swelling and varicose veins
  • Facilitate weight bearing and delivery
  • Strengthen the back
  • Emphasize perfect posture

Things to keep in mind:

  • Avoid exercise on your back (crunches, bench press, etc.).
  • Be aware of joint laxity – you are more prone to injury as your ligaments around the joints have softened.
  • Do NOT hold your breath.
  • Stay hydrated
  • Be careful not to overheat
  • Listen to your body
  • Avoid high risk sports
  • Avoid high impact/explosive movements
  • Don’t forget to stretch – each stretch should be performed 2 to 3 times, holding each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds

STOP EXERCISING IF:  (consult your physician if you experience any of these symptoms)

  • Persistent uterine contractions
  • Bloody discharge from vagina
  • Any “gush” of fluid from vagina
  • Unexplained pain in the abdomen
  • Sudden swelling, pain and or redness of hands, face or feet
  • Persistent headaches or disturbances in vision
  • Unexplained dizziness or faintness
  • Chest pains
  • Failure to gain weight
  • Absence of usual fetal movement
  • Sudden sharp pains
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive muscle soreness
  • Severe pain in the pubic area or hips
  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating

Consult a certified prenatal fitness trainer about the different types of exercise that you should be doing and how to modify your workout program during each trimester.  He/she can guide you through a safe and effective workout.

Jay Raymundo

Can-Fit-Pro Certified Pre and Post Natal Fitness Specialist

Owner/Operator NRG Fitness Inc.


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