We remain open. In-clinic and telehealth appointments are avaliable.

Exercise and Pregnancy: the visible and invisblie changes


Pregnancy is known as an exciting time for both mom and the growing baby. However, there are many changes that occur, both visible and invisible that is obvious and not so obvious within the body during pregnancy. The not so obvious changes are usually the physiological ones that are designed to provide the right environment for the baby’s development. Whereas, the obvious changes such as change in posture, increase in weight, breast size, and abdominal  muscle stretch.

So, what does that mean in terms of when it comes to exercises? We discuss the not so obvious changes.

Pregnancy is known as an exciting time for both mom and the growing baby. However, there are many changes that occur, both visible and invisible that is obvious and not so obvious within the body during pregnancy. The not so obvious changes are usually the physiological ones that are designed to provide the right environment for the baby’s development. Whereas, the obvious changes such as change in posture, increase in weight, breast size, and abdominal  muscle stretch.

So, what does that mean in terms of when it comes to exercises? We discuss the not so obvious changes. Cardiac. In order to meet the increasing demand for the blood supply, your heart would tend to enlarge and pump faster. That means, when doing a cardio workout, it is important you moderate the intensity of your exertion to moderate. Tip :  A nice way to gauge this is consider the talk test during the exercise – are you able to talk in full sentences whilst doing the exercise Circulation changes. The volume of the blood in your body increases as your baby needs to grow. Quite common changes that can occur are swelling in and around the lower legs, or what is also known as varicose veins that appear. Tip : From 20 weeks of pregnancy avoid lying on your back to do exercises as what can happen is that the weight of the baby can press on the major vessels returning blood to the heart. Tip: Schedule in rest times with your limbs and joints against gravity to assist if you spend a significant amount of time standing or walking. The use of suitable support wear can also be an option.Core body temperature changes. You might find your body’s temperature will slightly become higher when you’re pregnant. Again, this provides the best environment for the baby’s growth. Keeping an eye on intensive exercises can also increase your core body temperature.

Tip: Limit the intensity of your exercise as mentioned before, drink water before, during and after an exercise; wear light clothing where possible and exercise in a cool ventilated space.Joint changes. Pregnancy hormones such as relaxin are known to change the structure of the ligaments that support your joint; therefore, becoming a bit softer. This tends to be affected more around the joints, in and around the pelvic and lower back to assist the pregnancy and also to prepare the body for labour. Tip : Some helpful ways to protect your joints:Don’t take part in high-impact exercises such as aerobics or running.Changing the environment that you’re exercising in such as consideration of exercising in the water (consideration with the water temperature is important).

In addition to the above, pregnancy changes impact your pelvic floor muscles and abdominal muscles to allow for baby’s growth and weight gain.  Our common exercise that we always recommend even for those who are new to fitness are as follows:Pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor muscles are known to form the base of your pelvic and support. It’s important to get in the habit of training these muscles to continue to maintain strength in relation to the growing baby. A women’s health physiotherapist can assist you to ensure that you are performing theses exercises correctly and specifically to your own circumstances (it can be a issues of having muscles that lack coordination or flexibility)  Abdominal muscles. Naturally, these muscles will continue to stretch and make room as your pregnancy progresses. A women’s health physiotherapist can provide further advice and support on strategies with lifestyle habits, exercises and prescription of suitable supportwear you can consider to assist with this If you require any further assistance in helping you to exercise during your pregnancy or keen to start exercising, a woman’s health physio can help. Contact HERE

Related Posts