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13 Jan 2006

Can one do weight lifting when pregnant?
I am 26 years old and am really into my weight lifting and gym generally. My partner and I are trying to have a baby, I would like to know Once I fall Pregnant is it possible to still do weights and if so which body parts can I train and which should I avoid?
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi C

It's probably not ideal. There are a couple of hotspots or potential problem stages during pregnancy. The first and third trimester are the more risky phases, for different reasons.

What you need to remember is that the baby has a core temperature 1 degree higher than you do, so when you start to push up the intensity too much your core temperature goes up and consequently so does the baby’s. It is therefore also important that you keep cool during exercise wearing loose clothing and drinking lots of water. Also try to exercise in early morning or the evening when it is cooler. This is particularly important very very early on during the pregnancy in the first trimester and so keeping cool and keeping the intensity lower is very important.

You can do most activities in the gym such as cycling, treadmill, stepper and weight training. You will need to however avoid exercises on your back for extended periods or on your stomach. This may rule out a good deal of weight training options. During pregnancy your body produces a hormone called Relaxin, which makes your ligaments lax in preparation for the birth. Therefore it is not advised that you do any jumping or jarring activities, as this will put you at greater risk to injury. The same goes for weight training - lifting too heavy will put high strain on joints.

Here are some general guidelines for exercise:

• Avoid exercises that involve the VALSALVA manoeuvre or holding your breath. This means no lifting of heavy weights which force you to strain or hold your breath.
• Avoid exercises that involve lying on your back after the 4th month (after the first trimester) as the pregnant uterus may compress the aorta and cause a decrease of blood flow to the fetus.
• Avoid exercise in which there is danger of loss of balance.
• Avoid long periods of motionless standing
• It is NOT recommended that you start an exercise programme in the first trimester if you have been previously inactive.

Good luck
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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