We all know that exercise is good for us, but did you know that the evidence is now showing that it has great health benefits during pregnancy as well?
The current recommendations for a healthy pregnancy are to exercise at a moderate intensity for all or most days of the week.
So how do you know if you are exercising at a moderate intensity?
Well, there are a number of ways to gauge this:
The simplest way is the talk test. If you can hold a conversation without having to take breaks then you are exercising moderately.
If you have to pause your conversation to breathe then the intensity is high.
Maximum Heart Rate
Another way is to work between 60-80% of your max heart rate. How do you find your max heart rate? The simplest way is 220 – your age = Max Heart Rate.
Slightly more accurate is 211- 0.64 x your age = Max Heart Rate.
Then work within your 60-80% zone during exercise.
Rate of Perceived Exertion
The last way is called Rate of Perceived Exertion. This is a scale between 6-20 with 6 being rest and 20 being very, very hard.
The recommendation is to work between 12-14 which is classified as somewhat hard. If you have a high level of fitness then you can work 14-16 which is classified as hard.
The development of Gestational diabetes, hypertension or pre-eclampsia can be as strong a risk factor as smoking for developing cardiovascular disease in the future.
So reducing your risks during pregnancy may help you later in life.
In recent years the rate of gestational diabetes has been on the incline with studies suggesting up to 1 in 8 women develop it during pregnancy.
Diabetes Australia states that it is the fastest growing type of diabetes in Australia to date.
By following the recommended guidelines for exercises during a healthy pregnancy, you can reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes by 38%.
Around 3% of pregnancies in Australia are diagnosed with High blood pressure, which is when your blood pressure is 140/90mm Hg. This can lead to cerebral injury, liver and kidney failure in the mother and a pre-term birth with an underweight baby. Sticking to the exercise guidelines for a healthy pregnancy can reduce your risk of Gestational Hypertension by 39%.
Pre-Eclampsia Is a serious medical complication during pregnancy, which occurs when there is increased protein in the urine and high blood pressure in the mother.
One woman died each year between 2010-2019 due to the effects of Pre-Eclampsia or Eclampsia during pregnancy. You can reduce your risk by 41% by following the guidelines for exercise during a healthy pregnancy.
It is estimated that 1 in 5 women will experience depression during pregnancy or postpartum. There is a growing body of evidence to support exercise helps reduce not only your risk of developing depression, but also the severity of the depressive symptoms if they do develop.
Exercise is also an effective treatment for depression during pregnancy as exercising releases the feel-good chemicals, endorphins.
Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) has a wealth of knowledge and support if you are experiencing depression during pregnancy or postpartum.
Book an appointment
If you have a high risk or complications during pregnancy then you should collaborate with your medical professional and your physiotherapist prior to beginning or continuing exercise during your pregnancy.
If you would like some guidance on exercise during pregnancy then please call our friendly reception staff to make a booking on 0410 559 856 and request an initial appointment or book online. Please let our friendly reception staff know the background and severity of your condition.