Exercising through pregnancy can have major benefits

Belinda Zimmerman, program director at Breathe gym in Hervey Bay, exercised through both of her pregnancies.
Belinda Zimmerman, program director at Breathe gym in Hervey Bay, exercised through both of her pregnancies. Joy Butler

STAYING motivated to exercise while you are pregnant isn't always easy - but there are major benefits if you do.

That's the advice from Hervey Bay's Breathe program director Belinda Zimmerman.

Belinda has had two children herself and exercised right up until her due date during both pregnancies.

She acknowledged there were many myths about exercising while pregnant that might lead women to believe it was a potential risk to the health of their baby.

But Belinda said if the pregnancy was normal with no complications, then the benefits of exercise were countless.

"With a typical, normal pregnancy without any complications, the woman should definitely be exercising," she said.

Exercise helped to keep mums within the healthy weight gain range, assisted mums in preparing for a potentially strenuous labour, helped with recovery after the birth and prepared mums for the demands of keeping up with a newborn.

Belinda said it was important to be doing an exercise routine before falling pregnant. When exercising during the pregnancy, it was also crucial not to overdo it, ensuring that body temperature and heart rate were kept in check.

Belinda said trainers such as herself would be able to provide women with guidance when it came to exercising.

Top excuses why women don't exercise while pregnant

Exercise could cause miscarriage: This is false - exercise has been shown to be completely safe in pregnancy but it is not recommended during high-risk pregnancies

It's risky to raise my heart rate: As long as you don't overdo it, there should be no problem. Don't try to keep up with the class. Work at your own pace and the fitter you get, the more you'll be able to do with no discomfort.

I'm unfit and I haven't regularly exercised before: Even taking a short walk is better than nothing. Looking after your health and fitness during pregnancy can also help you when it comes to maintaining your health after the delivery and well into the future.

Topics:  exercise gym hervey bay pregnancy pregnant

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