PHE issues advice on physical activity for pregnant women

Public Health England and the Department of Health last week issued new advice to pregnant women on exercising during pregnancy, in a bid to fill the vacuum of information in this area and to encourage more expectant mothers to reap the benefits of being active.

The infographic attached is the latest addition to a series commissioned by the UK Chief Medical Officers. It aims to provide clarity and consistency, and to equip health professionals to deliver evidence based recommendations on physical activity in pregnancy. The aim is to ensure pregnant women are aware of the benefits of being active throughout their pregnancy and are clear about the physical activity recommendations. The infographic provides details regarding frequency, intensity and time, together with specific examples of suitable activities and key safety messages.

Here at Matrix Fitness we encourage regular, gentle exercise for expectant mothers and we believe if you take care with these points, you can stay fit during your pregnancy.

There are however a few things to be aware of:

  • Be careful if you are doing exercises where you could lose your balance, such as cycling, horse riding or skiing.
  • Avoid contact sports where there is a risk of being hit, such as kickboxing, football, judo or squash (though if you’re in a team you can still continue to do any non-contact training).
  • Don’t exercise at high altitudes without acclimatising.
  • Don’t exercise for more than 45 minutes at a time.
  • If you have any unusual symptoms, stop exercising and contact your doctor or midwife immediately.
  • Don’t let yourself get too hot – drink lots of water, don’t over-exercise and don’t exercise in a very hot, humid climate without giving your body a few days to get used to it.
  • Don’t do exercises in which you lie flat on your back after 16 weeks

If you did not exercise before getting pregnant, it is safe and healthy to start now. Start with 15 minutes of exercise three times a week and increase it gradually to 30-minute sessions four days a week or every day.

For more information and the full Infographic Guidance click here