What Intensity should you workout at now that you’re expecting?

Keeping fit and healthy during pregnancy has many benefits for both mum and baby but it can be hard for mums to know what is safe and what isn’t.

This is why we have asked Lorraine Scapens from Pregnancyexercise.co.nz to answer your questions about exercising during pregnancy.

This week you have asked; What Intensity should you workout at now that you’re Pregnant?

Years ago mums were told to keep their exercising heart rate below 140 beats per minute. This information is outdated and new guidelines are recommended.

During pregnancy and especially the first trimester heart-rate is elevated even at a resting level.  This is due to pregnancy hormones and your body working harder to accommodate pregnancy.

This is just one factor as to why it was hard for many mums to keep their heart-rate under the previous advised 140 beats.  Women would often feel that they weren’t working out and therefore not feeling the benefits of exercise.

Unless medically advised to keep lower heart-rate women can now listen to their body and enjoy exercising at a moderate level of intensity, which is 70-80%.

At this intensity Mums-to-be should feel like they are exercising and breaking in to a sweat but shouldn’t feel that they can’t talk.

I also suggest: –

  • If you had to, you could continue exercising for a further 10-15 minutes
  • You should never feel exhausted after a workout
  • Your exercise should not induce any discomfort or pain
  • And to monitor your exercise frequently and adjust accordingly to how you are feeling

We also often here the words ‘Listen to Your Body’, this is good guideline but in certain situations we may ignore our bodies signals to slow down as an adrenalin rush (caused by exercise) can allow us to push ourselves out of this moderate training zone.

Listening to loud music and taking part in exercise classes are just a couple of examples of were women might push themselves a little too hard. We can get carried away by music and get caught trying to keep up with our workout bodies. So it is best to be mindful of this in these types of situations.

We should also remember that one women’s moderate intensity may be another’s person easy or even too hard.

When I was pregnant I was used to training many hours a week, a 45-minute run pregnant with my first was a walk in the park for me, yet this could be far too intense for someone not as fit.

There are more exercising guidelines here: http://www.pregnancyexercise.co.nz/first-trimester-exercise-guidelines-pregnancy/

Please comment with any questions you may have about keeping fit during pregnancy and we may answer your question in detail on the blog next week.

Lorraine Scapens is a Pre and Postnatal exercise and wellness specialist, and has over 20 years experience. Her focus is on diastasis prevention; healing and ensuring mums are pain free and can enjoy living an active life with their kids.

Lorraine created her website Pregnancyexercise.co.nz 5 years ago as she wanted more women to benefit from her knowledge and experience.


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